Commentary by Terry Anker
As he often does, a good friend forwarded a quote via email designed to both break-up the day and to inspire a contemplative moment. In his book adapted from a series of wartime BBC interviews, “Mere Christianity,” C.S. Lewis said “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” The leading advocate at the time for a reasoned defense of the faith, Lewis brought attention to the universal longing of humankind.
Whether one conforms with the view that our lives on this Earth are inconsequential to the ones that will follow in heaven, most of us experience some sense of isolation and lack of belonging. Our relationships, our careers, and even our own self-worth, at times seem to elude satisfaction. Luckily, the sensation ebbs and flows for the majority. Yet for some, a constant pall of loneliness hangs on to them. We need more. We need better. We need different! So, how do we satiate our desires without, if we follow Lewis’s argument, dying? Moreover, doesn’t a healthy sense of aspiration lift us all?
Certainly, we should find our center – our point on the horizon – and cling to it. What in our lives is it that matters most? My wise spouse once proclaimed, “you are most happy about tomorrow when you are a bit unhappy about today.” She is right. Some need to long for improvement today if they hope to achieve it tomorrow. It keeps the line of sight off of our shoes and out in front. Is it more important to know (or imagine) where we are going than to know (or imagine) where we are? Today may be filled with limitations, but tomorrow is abundant with opportunity. Isn’t that where we really belong?