"There is a spiritual hunger in the world today - and it cannot be satisfied by material things alone." ~ Adlai Stevenson
The quote above spoken by Stevenson in 1956 during his acceptance speech for the presidential candidacy of the Democratic Party, is as true today as it was then. Stevenson, the renowned statesman and ambassador to the United Nations, had a profound spirituality. He saw, through his work, a world starving for spiritual connection.
The world still has a deep and unquenched spiritual hunger. Why?
I believe, as Stevenson did, that our priorities are in the wrong places. Too many of us are striving for a better life through material things. However, new cars, bigger houses, the latest technical gadgets and closets full of clothes cannot fill the emptiness in one's soul.
So, what does fill the emptiness? For me, natural beauty of any kind fills my heart and soul with joy. Music, religious as well as secular, art, and literature all touch something deep within me that often raises my spirits high. Truly connecting with friends and relatives, not simply touching base, but sharing intimate moments filled with laughter, caring and even tears, make my cup run over. However, it is my time alone with the Creator that most feeds my hunger.
Time alone is something we have sacrificed in lieu of the busyness of life. Trying to keep up with emails, Facebook, bills, commitments, all add to our lack of "you and me" time with the Divine. Even our attempts at being with Spirit on the weekend are invaded by demands to have our minds elsewhere...preparing meals, teaching children, scrambling to attend various events, organizing for the coming week...the list is endless.
If we are careful, however, we can glean a bit of "soul food" from the most unexpected places. Sometimes, it can be found in the lines of a speech, or the comments of a friend. At other times, we can pick up a book or paper and read something that carries us through the day, the week, the year. Still other times, we can find ourselves completely satiated by the smile of a stranger or a hug from a child.
Spiritual hunger does not need to exist if we but open ourselves up to the possibilities for harvesting food for the soul in our daily lives. When we live in Creator's presence daily, we come to life satisfied, willing to share the banquet with others.
Finally, gratitude is the greatest tool for lifting the spirit and filling the emptiness of the soul. Gratitude reminds us of the grace and blessings that fill out lives, but that often go unseen. How do we find these blessings? My suggestion is to begin by being grateful for the little things, every day. Soon, gratitude will become a way of life – a life filled with total satisfaction.