How can we discover Jesus in the middle of our troubled, confused world? A place to begin is to think about the ways in which even the most secular men and women in this age still have deep needs they are attempting to fill—needs that only Jesus can fill.
“What most strikes me,” writes Henri Nouwen, “being back in the United States, is the full force of restlessness, the loneliness, and the tension that holds so many people. The conversations I had today were about spiritual survival. So many of my friends feel overwhelmed by the many demands made on them; few feel the inner peace and joy they so much desire. . . . There seems to be a mountain of obstacles preventing people from being where their hearts want to be. It is so painful to watch and experience. The astonishing thing is that the battle for survival has become so ‘normal’ that few people really believe that it can be different.”1
“The problem is not merely one of woman and career, woman and the home, woman and independence,” writes Anne Morrow Lindbergh. “It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel.”2
“I wasn’t mentally tough before I met Coach Lombardi,” said football great Bart Starr. “I hadn’t reached the point where I refused to accept second best. To win, you have to have a certain amount of mental toughness. Coach Lombardi gave me that. He taught me that you must have a flaming desire to win. It’s got to dominate all your waking hours. It can’t ever wane. It’s got to glow in you all the time.”3
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matt. 5:6, NKJV).
What does “righteousness” mean?
It’s a fundamental spiritual principle that when we live to serve and love the brokenness that we see around us, our own brokenness becomes more healed and we find greater wholeness ourselves. When we live—and hunger for what God lives and hungers for—we are satisfied.
What three specific things will I do to seek greater wholeness in my life and in the world around me?4
- Henri Nouwen, in Seeds of Hope: A Henri Nouwen Reader, Robert Durback, ed. (New York: Doubleday, 1997), p. 54.
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea (New York: Vintage Books, 1955), p. 29.
- David Claerbaut, Bart Starr: When Leadership Mattered (Lanham, Md.: Taylor Trade Publications, 2004), p. 22
- Adapted with permission from the iFollow Discipleship Resource, ©North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.