Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Little More Substance

Hunger, intense hunger, everywhere I look, I see hunger, but what are we hungry for? We eat, but we are never filled. We are so busy, busy, busy, constantly looking for the next high, the next thrill, the next bit of excitement. We live in a culture of fast food, fast cars and instant gratification. We are enamored with all kinds of material abundance (things, things, things). And yet, I still see hunger, a lot of hunger; for even though we have so many things, these things can and never will satisfy the longings of the soul. The soul desires an internal connection with its source, and if you don't nourish that, you will always feel a sense of emptiness. It doesn't matter how much material wealth or belongings, or temporary highs you achieve, or acquire. If you don't satisfy your spiritual hunger, you will never find satisfaction of the highest nature.

There is a song by Jewel that is absolutely amazing. It is titled, Little Sister. The lyrics go:

"Every day we starve while we eat white bread and beer, instead of a handshake or hug, we spill the pills and sweep them under the rug. My little sister is a zombie in a body, with no soul, a role she has learned to play, in a world today where nothing else matters, but it matters, we gotta start feeding our souls, not our addictions, or afflictions of pain, to avoid the same questions we must ask ourselves to get any answers. We gotta start feeding our souls have been lost to the millions with lots who feed on addiction selling pills and what's hot. I wish I could save her from all their delusions, all the confusion, of a nation that starves for salvation, but clothing is the closest approximation to God, and he only knows that drugs are all we know of love."

There is an interesting correlation I have noticed. We as a society abuse so many substances (prescription pills, drugs, pornography, food and etc.) as a substitute for real substance. Ironically enough, it is called substance abuse. Ultimately, people are looking for more substance, many just go about it the wrong way. We all want the same thing-a richer, fuller experience of life, but there is no substitute for real substance. Spiritual fulfillment is the only satisfying substance. Until your soul is content and full of substance, you will constantly be craving and always hungry.

I remember growing up, my needs were always met. We weren't wealthy by any means, but we were never poor either. The physical comfort just didn't do it for me though. My family sat around and watched a lot of TV, and played video games. I was never interested in that sort of thing. And through the wisdom of my years, I have come to understand why. All these material things don't satisfy the soul. I have always craved more substance. I hear the longings of my soul, I feel it's hunger. And I feed my soul often just like I feed my body. I am not interested in the food that perishes, I am interested in the food that never perishes-SOUL FOOD! I don't want milk. I want meat, spiritually speaking. That feel good, shallow stuff doesn't do it for me. Our family went to church almost every week and yet, my soul was still always seeking more substance. I felt the hunger from an early age on. I am convinced there is a lot of shallowness in our culture.

I had the chance to worship and study with a Native American group for several years in Tennessee , while I lived there. I now believe native Americans lived with a lot of substance. There's was a very rich spiritual culture. I learned a great deal in those ceremonies and studies. Spirituality was a core component of the native life and culture. I think our culture could benefit a lot from their wisdom and way of life. We need a return to the spiritual way. Oscar Wilde said, "Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you." That is where the real substance lies. Real substance is what I'm talking about here. Let’s be done with shallow living. This is a call for a return to A Little More Substance.

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

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