When we whittle it all down to the very core of each of us, it all becomes very simple. We want to be loved. Somewhere along this path we call life we've learned to become defensive and fearful. Instead of walking with our arms reaching outward in order to embrace all that life has to offer, we fold our arms across our chests to protect where we are most vulnerable-our hearts. We've become so afraid that we no longer talk to each other. It's easier to hide behind the latest technology. We ask ourselves: How many friends do I have on Facebook? What's their status update? Who's tweeting? Who's currently trending? Because we are often too afraid to ask the hard questions about what really matters in our lives.
It's much easier to disconnect with the illusion of being connected. Human interaction is messy when we have to move from behind the gadgets and look into the eyes of another human being. it forces us to be In the moment and to focus fully on the person who is in front of us. Not only do we have to answer the questions they may ask. We also are often forced to face the questions we've been too afraid to ask ourselves: Am I happy? Is this all there is to life? Is God what I imagine? Have I found my purpose?
We are all so desperate for love that we pretend that we no longer need it. Instead we focus on things that really don't matter at all because those things are safe. There's no threat of getting hurt. We pretend that we want everything but what we most crave. We fill our days with activities to keep us busy. To fill the void of longing that exists deep within each of us. We spend our lives like runners on a treadmill. Constantly running, faster and faster, but never getting anywhere. We've mistaken movement for progress. When we exhaust ourselves and want off, the world may not understand why we would choose serenity over madness. After all, the movement and speed is exhilarating. At least that is what we tell ourselves.
But it's not just the world that pushes each of us into this hyper active mode. Often we are frantically serving God. So busy moving from this service to that meeting that we fail to hear that still, small voice that beckons us "Come away my beloved. Spend a moment with me."
The paradox of fearing what we need most -connection with another human being- keeps us disconnected. We are often so afraid of being hurt, misunderstood or rejected we don't reach out for that touch from another person. We pretend to be cool, unaffected, unfazed. When really what we want is someone to sit in silence with us holding tightly to our hand. Someone to give us a hug when nothing seems to be going our way, or someone who looks into our eye and truly sees who we are. Not who we pretend to be.
There is not one of us, no matter how tough we may act, who does not want to be loved. Of course we want to be loved by mankind, but we also want to know that there is something bigger than us that loves us in spite of our unloveliness. After all we see ourselves in the mirror everyday and we know our flaws and inadequacies. We know what's really behind the facade we put on for others. What terrifies us more than anything is the idea that we haven't fooled God and are, therefore, unlovable.
It's all just a vicious cycle really. The busier we keep ourselves the less likely we are to hear the whispering in our soul that tells us who we are and why we are. We crowd out the words of love with music (sometimes praise music), TV, anything that will fill up the silence because we are afraid of the silence. Because it is in that silence where we will get the answers to the questions we most want answered. Oh, but we are so afraid.