Man’s eternal quest

Teresa Nnaya

 One of my favorite writers, Fr. Thomas Dubay, captures the human condition this way:

‘’As a human being, a spirit-in-the-flesh, you are a thirst. Every single choice you make all day long is proof that you seek, you desire, you want, you lack. Nothing is ever enough. You always want more of delightful experiences, and when the same experiences begin to wear thin and bore you, you seek new ones as well as heightened intensities of the old. You are engaged in an endless whirl. Always you seek, desire, want, lack.

Furthermore, you may have noticed that even after the most thrilling experience (a success, a vacation, a party, a date, a dance), when you are quiet and alone, you perceive deep down a small voice saying, ‘’Is that all there is?’’ Nothing is enough: not praise, not success, not youth, not love. You are a thirst in the flesh, an incarnated thirst. You yearn for endless beauty and joy, endless love and delight, endless security and happiness – and an immortality in which to enjoy it all.

You cannot help being an incarnated thirst. Nor can I. We were born that way and we will die that way. We may differ in how we seek to slake our thirst. Some go up blind alleys. Others go to the Fountain. But all seek.’’

We are all on a Quest. We all want more. Nothing is ever enough.

That Quest has been given many names: your dream, your vision, your hobby horse, your pet project, your special idea. It keeps you going, makes you smile, gets you up in the morning, and gives you a reason for living. For some, it’s a loved one, for another, it’s work. Its accomplishment becomes your Ultimate Desire.

What you often don’t realize is that it’s actually God you’re looking for. Your soul is made for him and will remain restless until it rests in him (Saint Augustine).

‘’Man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself.’’ That’s our Ultimate Dignity. We are higher animals because we have a Spirit, and that Spirit can communicate with God. You cannot live fully, according to truth, unless you freely acknowledge this fact and entrust yourself to your Creator.

Through the ages, we have sought different ways of searching for God, as illustrated by the variety of religions and religious beliefs we have. These forms of religious expression are so many as to indicate that one may well call man a religious being.

Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Hinduism – all are religions founded by noble and gifted men who sought to connect with the ultimate reality that is God. Christianity is unique amongst other belief systems because it is the only religion which purports that God has come to seek man. In other religions, man seeks God.

In our groping, we sometimes lose focus and violate our intimate bond with God. Such attitudes can have different causes. Sometimes, as with the hippie movement, it’s a revolt against the injustices of the world. With the materialist, it’s an indifference or ignorance of religion brought on by a strong attachment to the riches and cares of this world. With the ‘Protestant’ it’s the scandal of bad example on the part of believers. With the atheist, it’s often a worldly sophistication which holds discussions on religion to be anathema.

But, even though man can forget God or reject Him, God never ceases to call man to seek Him, so as to find life and happiness.

As any seeker will tell you, if you’re going to search, and find what you’re searching for, you need the right tools. In this case, they are: an open mind, a sound will, an honest heart and someone to listen to. The Quest is personal because all roles, except the last, must be played by you.

Will you resume your Quest for Truth today?

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