I write from time to time about “thoughts upon awaking”, the things that I find at the front of my mind as soon as my eyes are open. This morning it was “The Wizard of Oz” movie….of all things. I haven’t seen it in years.
But somehow it played into my pre-awaking dream, as I thought about the scarecrow’s brain, the tin man’s heart, the lion’s courage, and Dorothy’s desire to get home. In the journey to seek each one’s longed-for desire from the wizard, they discovered in the end that those things were already right there, available to each of them. They simply had not realized it before.
This week I’ve had several conversations with women about the “something” they have felt missing in their lives. Each has sought the missing “something” in a variety of ways ……through drugs or alcohol, relationships, promiscuity, having children, money, running from problems, thrill seeking, or more……all to no avail. When we talk about this it always comes back to what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes…..”all is vanity.” None of it satisfied for very long. It usually only created a more demanding appetite or additional problems. And, now finally they discover that what they longed for most was right there, available to them all along.
I have observed that attempts at recovery with women are seldom successful until they are far enough in life to have experienced the reality about most of these “vanities”. It is only when all the hands have been played and one has come up short on every one that they are finally ready to quit the game and get real about themselves, about life, and about God.
Most of them will acknowledge that they knew better but that they didn’t think things through, or that they lived at the mercy of their emotions, or that they lacked the courage to do the things they knew they needed to do, or that they simply wanted a place to belong, even if it had flying monkeys and vile witches and long uncertain stretches of road.
Any of us may spend years in search of the missing “something” in our lives. We will never really know peace and contentment until that hole is filled, that deep longing for the “something” that we haven’t yet found. My experience, and that of many whom I have encountered along my journey, has been that the only way to fill the hole is by inviting Christ to fill it through the supernatural indwelling of his Holy Spirit.
When I hear someone say that she finally has that “something” that was missing in her life, I feel joy for her. And I feel joy for Christ, too, that one more is in Christ and Christ in her, as he prayed in John 17.
It’s strange to me sometimes how God uses cultural icons like a movie to speak to me through my dreams about the ministry in which I am involved. I think he likes to keep it interesting and keep me wondering what he’s going to use next.
Some have told me I’m overly religious and that I spiritualize everything. But it isn’t something I do. It is something God has done. And the reason he has, I think, is so that he can use many different ways to impress my heart and mind with things to use in relating to the people he brings to me. There’s always a new parable, a new metaphor, a new analogy, a new picture, a new example, a new object lesson…… but always the same wonderful story waiting to be told to the next seeker.