Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Christ the King Is All Powerful

This week is the feast of Christ the King, which always occurs on the last Sunday of the Church calendar year. (And if this is the last Sunday of the Church year, then that means next week is the first Sunday of Advent, which means the Christmas season is upon us. Wow, didn’t we just celebrate Christmas, like, a couple months ago?!)

One of my favorite Catholic authors is Peter Kreeft, a philosophy professor at Boston College. Each year Kreeft gives a simple, one-question quiz to the incoming freshmen. Here’s the question: “How do you get to Heaven?”

This is what Kreeft writes about this exercise: “Over three-quarters of all the ‘educated’ Catholic college students I have taught do not know, after twelve years of catechism classes, how to get to heaven! Their answer to that question is usually something like ‘be sincere’ or ‘try your best’ or ‘don’t hurt people’ or ‘work for peace’ or ‘have a nice day’ or some such trumpet blast. They rarely even mention Jesus when asked that question. Why should they? Warm fuzzies are not stronger than death.”

Kreeft explains that despite all the catechism training, most of his students have never been introduced to Jesus, the Word made flesh; Jesus, the One through whom everything was made; Jesus, the Way and the Truth and the Life, and the only path to Heaven (according to His own words). Instead, they have been introduced to Jesus, the kind and friendly 1st century version of Mr. Rogers; the warm and fuzzy nice guy who can give you a hug if your self esteem is low, but cannot conquer death. Kreeft notes, “Jesus the Warm Fuzzy just doesn’t have the appeal of Jesus the Eternal Logos (Eternal Word).”

I wonder if those college kids will be paying attention this week at Mass, when the gospel reading will be from the 25th chapter of Matthew. This gospel passage was selected for the feast of Christ the King because it clearly portrays Jesus in all of His regal power and majesty at the Final Judgment. Describing what will happen at that time, Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him.”

Wow, that is a very powerful scene. All the nations from the entire earth assembled before one throne. All of the angels in Heaven gathered around Christ the King, the one supreme ruler on His throne. Not exactly Mr. Rogers putting on his sweater and sneakers.

After setting this awesome scene of the Almighty King on His glorious throne, the rest of the passage describes exactly what King Jesus will be doing: passing judgment on every single person. 

Judgment?! Now, that’s an unpopular concept these days. The main point this week is that Jesus is not merely a kindly, peaceful, timid soul who wants to be our friend and say nice things to us and make us feel better about ourselves. He also is the powerful King of kings and Lord of lords, and the final Judge of every single person who has ever lived.

Thankfully Jesus is indeed a God of compassion and mercy. If He were not, He would not have freely sacrificed His own life for our sake. I suspect most of Peter Kreeft’s students understand this aspect of Jesus’ nature. 

But we must never forget that Jesus is also almighty and powerful. Powerful enough to conquer death once and for all on the cross, and powerful enough to determine our eternal fate at the Final Judgment. This may make Jesus a little less warm and fuzzy, but it certainly makes Him capable of saving our souls. It makes Jesus the one and only answer to the question: “How to you get to Heaven?” 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Car License Plates Are Too Artsy

Since I drive a lot for my job, I see plenty of license plates on other cars. Let me just say, they don’t make license plates like they used to.

Years ago, the function of a license plate was rather simple: it was an easy-to-read device to identify a particular motor vehicle. Every state had its own color scheme. In Connecticut it was a blue background with white numbers and letters. I remember a few other states: California was yellow on a black background, New Hampshire was white on green, and New York was black on orange.

People still were able to get “vanity plates” back then, with their initials, nickname, or some other personal message. It was always interesting to see a plate such as “MY VETT” on a station wagon, so you knew the arrival of children finally forced somebody to trade in his beloved Corvette for a more practical vehicle.

But the point is, license plates back then may not have been very flashy, but they were very functional. You could tell right away which state a car was from by the color scheme, and you could read the big, block numbers and letters easily.

Nowadays license plates have become far too flashy and artsy, and as a result have lost their primary function because they are often quite difficult to read. For example, many states now have multiple color schemes. You can no longer instantly tell which state a car is from based on the colors.

And all the different pictures and images on license plates these days are out of control. On just Connecticut plates alone I’ve seen the following images: dogs, cats, children, greenways, sailing ships, eagles, American flags, bobcats, and lighthouses. On the license plates of other states, I’ve seen images of the space shuttle, tigers, lobsters, sunsets, flowers, Mount Rushmore, peaches, oranges, an egret — or maybe it was a duck — airplanes, and, I think, Oprah. (She owns her own state now, doesn’t she?)

Many license plates have an image of a famous state landmark or product. The picture of a lobster lets you know a car is from Utah; the image of oranges can be found on North Dakota plates; and Mount Rushmore appears on license plates from Vermont. (Hey, state history and geography were not my best subjects.) I’m surprise Connecticut plates do not have an image of our most famous state activity: loading a moving van and fleeing to a business-friendly region.

The worst problem of all with license plates is the fact that most car dealerships put plastic frames around the plates. These frames clearly display the dealer’s name, but often cover up important information on the plates themselves (which is why I had to guess the location of the lobster, the oranges, and Mount Rushmore).

Imagine that you witness a crime and you get a glimpse of the getaway car. Later, a policeman asks you, “Did you see the license plate?”

“Yes,” you reply. The cop says, “What state?”

You answer, “Tommy’s Toyota World.”

“Well, what was the license plate number?” the cop asks.

“I dunno,” you say, “but I think there was a picture of a salt marsh and a bird. It might have been an egret — or maybe a duck.”

“Thank you very little,” the cop mutters, as he radios in to headquarters to have all units be on the lookout for an egret — or maybe a duck.

I wish they would go back to good ol’ functional license plates and outlaw those dopey plastic frames. I don’t really care where a person bought his car. And I don’t really care that his state bird is an egret — or maybe a duck.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Church Restructuring Brings Out Angry Letter-Writers

In recent months, the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford implemented its Pastoral Planning process, which resulted in many parishes being closed or merged. This unprecedented restructuring has produced a lot of upheaval in the lives of area Catholics. It also has produced a slew of letters-to-the-editor in local newspapers.

Many people, upset that their lifelong parishes were closed, have not been shy about expressing their anger in print. Some of the letters accuse the Archbishop and various clergy of being deceptive and dishonest. Other letters accuse individual pastors by name of being self-centered and unsympathetic toward the plight of the faithful, who must endure these drastic changes.

But it seems many of the angry letter-writers are being rather self-centered, too. A lot of the published complaints focus on matters of personal convenience, such as changes to the Mass times or being required to drive farther to get to Mass. By far the most common lament goes something like this: My parents and grandparents helped build this church! How dare you close it?!

However, I have yet to see a letter-to-the-editor mention the root cause of the parish reorganization process, which also happens to be the most serious and heart-breaking issue facing the Catholic Church in New England: the fact that hundreds of thousands of precious souls have drifted away from the faith.

The statistics are undeniable — and frightening. Since the mid-1960s, weekly Mass attendance in the Hartford Archdiocese has dropped 69-percent. In other words, compared to a generation or two ago, less than one-third the number of people go to Mass nowadays.

The dramatic decrease in Mass attendance has produced a short-term, “here and now” impact: the closing and merging of parishes, and the inevitable angry letters to the editor. But the long-term, “there and then” impact is far more serious. When hundreds of thousands of people refuse to go to Mass anymore, they are clearly rejecting the teachings of the Church, which means they are rejecting the mercy and grace offered by the Lord, especially the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

To put it plainly: these people are literally putting the eternal fate of their souls in jeopardy. How can the closing of a few dozen parishes compare to thousands and thousands of souls lost for all eternity? If the letter-to-the-editor writers want to complain about the Pastoral Planning process, why don’t they mention this tragic situation?

OK, I know what you’re thinking: Hey Bill, aren’t you being a bit dramatic with all this eternal damnation stuff?
Well, in reply, let me ask a few questions of my own: Why does the Church even exist? I mean, why did Jesus establish the Church in the first place? Is it because He wanted us to have a place to hold weddings and funerals and potluck suppers? Is it because the Lord knew that people have an instinctive need to be part of a local community where they can socialize and complain about the leadership?

No, the Church actually exists for one simple reason: to make saints. Jesus founded the Church to spread the Good News and get precious souls into Heaven for all eternity. If you still believe the Gospel message is true, when Mass attendance drops 69-percent, it’s not an unfortunate development that requires structural reorganization. It is instead a heart-breaking, life-and-death tragedy.
So, if you are unhappy about the changes going on in the Archdiocese and are compelled to write angry letters-to-the-editor, go right ahead. But don’t forget to mention the saddest thing of all: the countless number of friends, relatives, and former parishioners who no longer are in communion with the grace and mercy and salvation offered by God.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Lots of Ideas, No Time to Write

I’m often asked this question: “Hey Bill, how do you think up topics for your humor column? After all, you’ve written an essay every single week for the past 16 years, and once in a while they’re kind of interesting.”

Um, thanks. I’m pretty sure “Once in a while they’re kind of interesting” is the high praise that kept Mark Twain motivated.
Anyway, there’s no mystery about it. I just observe what’s going on in the world, and when I think something is kind of goofy, I grab a notebook and jot down ideas. In other words, what I do is pay attention and take notes — a fact that would cause most of my high school teachers to faint with shock.

Finding topics about which to write is not a problem; finding the time to sit down and do the actual writing, however, is a major challenge. Someone once told me when you reach middle-age and your kids move out of the house, you end up with a lot more free time. Well, I must be doing something wrong, because my schedule has never been more hectic.
After all these years, I have dozens of scraps of paper piled up on my desk with potential column topics. Here’s a small sample, and please let me know if any of these sound like they’d make a good column.

  • The $5 DVD bin at Walmart makes one thing very clear: Hollywood produces an amazing number of awful movies. 
  • What I want Santa to bring me for Christmas: the health insurance deductibles and co-pays we’ve paid out this year. We could use an extra 8 grand.
  • News story: a wristwatch was auctioned off for $11 million. Even I know that’s dumb, and I wasted 400 bucks on an Apple Watch. 
  • People who send greeting cards for every occasion make those of us who haven’t sent a greeting card since Jimmy Carter was president feel bad. 
  • A new study finds that membership in a college fraternity decreases a person’s academic grades but increases his life-long earnings, apparently because you get drunk way too often, but with guys who later will help you climb the corporate ladder. If that were true, I should be a millionaire by now. 
  • A Pew Research Center study finds that people get lied to approximately 200 times per day, including an average of three lies per conversation. Wow, that seems high, and I work in sales. 
  • I just found out “gluten-free” birthday cake is not the same as “dairy-free” birthday cake. (I think in my excitement about getting some cake at the office, I confused the concepts “gluten-free” and “vegan.”) Being lactose intolerant, I spent most of the afternoon in the men’s room.
  • Regarding the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” aren’t you supposed to have that answered by the time you turn 60? 
  • Have you noticed that Dunkin Donuts offers very weird donut options, especially leading up to holidays? I think their R&D people smoke some dope, go to CVS, and pick whatever junk food strikes their fancy. “Hey man, this will be perfect: a jelly donut covered in Kit Kat bars, pork rinds, and beef jerky!” 
  • What percentage of tattoo decisions were made while sober? I’m guessing about 2-percent. 
  • Is the whole concept of “comfort pets” and “service animals” getting out of hand? Especially now that doctors will approve that someone needs a service boa constrictor, a comfort hedgehog, or a therapy rodent?
Please send an email and let me know if these or other topics might make an interesting humor column. Because after all, “kind of interesting once in a while” is what I want to be when I grow up.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Be Prepared for the Most Important Day

In this week’s gospel reading at Mass, Jesus offered a parable about being prepared. He used a wedding feast to symbolize Heaven, and a bridegroom to symbolize Himself. No one knew when the bridegroom would arrive and begin the feast. Half the people were ready; the other half were not.

When the bridegroom finally came, Jesus explained, “Those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked.”

Later on, those who were unprepared came to the feast and tried to get in. They yelled, “Lord, Lord, open the door for us!” The bridegroom replied, “Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.”

Although we may not fully understand 1st century, middle-eastern wedding customs, we can understand Jesus’ main message. He is telling us we do not know when the most important day of our lives will come, but when it does come we had better be ready. If we’re ready, we’ll be invited in to an awesome party. If we’re not ready, the door will be locked and Jesus will say to us, “I do not know you.”

The most important day of our lives is a day most people dread, and a day many people can’t even admit will occur. It is the day we end our journey here on earth and stand face-to-face with God. It is the day of our death.

The letter to the Hebrews is crystal clear: “Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”

More often than not, people do not know when this most important day will arrive. It sometimes comes without warning, maybe with a deafening crash on the Interstate or chest pains while shoveling snow. For others, this most important day arrives with a quiet whimper, such as a bedside vigil at a hospice facility.

Whichever way it comes, that day will arrive for every single one of us. And when it does arrive, we either will be ready or we will not be ready.

Now, here’s the most important question: What exactly does it mean to be ready?

Jesus gives us a major clue in Matthew, chapter seven. While discussing this most important day, Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father.”

Jesus then went on to offer the most chilling words in all of Scripture, which will be spoken to many people begging to be let in: “I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

Yikes! Not a pretty picture for those who are not ready.

There are two clear aspects to being ready. The first is knowing Jesus. Not knowing ABOUT Him, but rather, having a personal relationship WITH Him. God created us in the first place to be in fellowship with Him, as the Baltimore Catechism said: to know Him, love Him, and serve Him.

The second aspect of being ready is putting that relationship—that trusting faith—into action. This in not to say we have to work our way into Heaven, since no one is holy enough to do it on his or her own.

It means instead that our gratitude toward God—our joyful response to His incredible love and mercy—transforms our hearts and minds, and is expressed in righteous living. We do good things because we WANT to, not because we HAVE to. 

We don’t need to be frightened of that most important day. If we have a relationship with Jesus—if we put our trust and faith in Him and let the Holy Spirit guide our lives—we can be confident the door will be opened and we will be invited in to the Heavenly banquet.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Handyman Skills Are Half-Fast

Over the years I’ve developed into an acceptable home handyman. When I do projects around the house, I work at about 50-percent the speed of most other guys, so you could say I’m a half-fast handyman. (And say it quickly for the full effect.)

I’m pretty good with wood. I can cut boards and nail them together. Of course, if you want the boards to be cut to the exact right length and the nails to hold them in an exact level position, well, why do you think there are professional builders listed in the Yellow Pages? But if you’re just looking for, say, a half-fast shelf to put in the garage, I’m your man.

I’m also pretty good with electrical things. By electrical things, I don’t mean the wires or fixtures in the house which carry 110 volts of current — that stuff can kill you!

By electrical things, I mean connecting a DVD player to the TV, or hooking up the speakers to a stereo system. I’m an old pro at wiring up stereo systems, going back to the late-1970s in college. My roommate and I decided to combine our individual stereo components into one big honking system, which made our dorm room the loudest location in central Pennsylvania. Whenever we cranked up Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” the ground shook on campus and the lights dimmed as far away as Scranton. (This probably explains why my most frequent comment to my wife nowadays is, “Huh? Whudja say?”)

If you want me to get involved with any of the more exotic electrical things — like running wiring in the walls, installing a new light fixture, or plugging in an extension cord — well, why do you think there are professional electricians listed in the Yellow Pages?

There is one area in the home handyman world that I refuse to touch: plumbing. Plumbing is even worse than high voltage electrical things. The worst that can happen when an electrical project goes awry is that it can kill you. But it’s much worse when a plumbing project goes awry. It will torture you forever.

The problem with plumbing is the water. If plumbing projects did not involve water, then I wouldn’t mind doing them. But I have some very finicky family members, who shall remain nameless, and they insist we have running water in the house. So unfortunately, that means our plumbing projects must involve water.

If a woodworking project fails and the shelf collapses in a big heap, that’s it. It’s done. You can then either pick up the pieces and start over, or throw a tarp over it and pretend it never happened.

If an electrical project fails, the TV or DVD player in question gives off a few sparks as its internal circuit boards are ruined, and that’s it. It’s done. You can then either announce to the family that we’ve been watching too much television anyway, or, if it’s a high voltage situation, throw a tarp over my charred body and pretend it never happened.

But when plumbing projects fail, you can’t just throw a tarp over it and pretend it never happened. This is because failed plumbing projects always result in gallons and gallons of water spewing all over the house. And no matter how good you are at pretending certain things never happened, wading through knee-deep water in the kitchen is really hard not to notice.

So, when it comes to plumbing projects, I always call a professional. I found a great plumber in the Yellow Pages a few years ago. And the only thing half-fast about him is the view he flashes us when he bends over to work under the kitchen sink.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Practicing What We Preach

In the Gospel reading this weekend at Mass, Jesus criticized the Pharisees for being hypocrites. He listed many of their two-faced behaviors, and summed it up by saying that they don’t practice what they preach.

However, Jesus added a very surprising comment. He said that although the Pharisees were selfish hypocrites, they held positions of authority and therefore the people must “do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.”

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He offered his most stinging rebukes to the Pharisees. He called them white-washed tombs, a brood of vipers, blind guides, and hypocrites. You would think if the Pharisees were that corrupt, Jesus would’ve told the crowds to ignore them and follow some other religious leaders. Instead, Jesus acknowledged that they were the rightful religious authorities and the people must obey their instructions.

A similar situation exists today. Far too many people refuse to go to church anymore because they don’t like the priest or minister. Over the years I’ve heard a lot of grumbling and excuses. “He’s too boring.” “He’s too fanatical.” “His homilies are too long.” “His homilies are too short.” “He’s too old.” “He’s too young.” Blah, blah, blah.

I’m convinced that even if Jesus Himself returned to pastor one of our churches, there would be plenty of pious Christians complaining behind His back. “His hair is too long.” “He talks funny.” “He’s too weird.” “He spends way too much time talking to that trampy-looking divorced woman.”

The point Jesus was trying to make about the Pharisees—and the point we must understand within our own faith communities—is that church leaders are not the church. Church is not some kind of show starring Reverend So-and-So. We do not gather each Sunday morning to be entertained.

If you go to a concert and don’t like the singer, then obviously you shouldn’t buy tickets to see that performer again. But church is different. The priest or preacher is not a performer. This ain’t show biz. He’s the leader of a community worship service.

When it comes to practicing our faith, God is the main attraction, and the clergy merely help facilitate the event. God is the sole reason we go to church. We gather each week as a community of faith to give glory and honor to our Creator and to live our lives according to His plan.

Not going to church because you don’t particularly care for the pastor is like refusing to go to a Worlds Series game because you don’t like the guy who sells the hot dogs.

If Jesus told the people to fulfill their religious duties even though those flaming hypocrite Pharisees were the official leaders, then there’s absolutely no excuse for us to skip church over petty personality reasons.

Are there hypocrites in leadership positions in today’s church? Yup. There are also liars, thieves, and New York Yankees fans. Welcome to reality. As long as we live in a sinful world, our religious organizations will be staffed by sinful people, similar to our places of work and the other organizations we belong to.

Certainly, I’m not suggesting that the clergy can do whatever they want and we should just sit there and ignore it. When someone abuses his authority and inflicts physical, emotional, or financial harm on others, that’s a different story. But let’s not exaggerate; the ones who do this are few and far between.  

If we would spend more time focusing on the true purpose of church—honoring and worshipping God—and less time bad-mouthing our religious leaders, then our faith communities would be more vibrant and loving, not to mention more attractive to those lost souls who need to find the Lord.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Youth Sports Take Toll on Parents

Once upon a time, America was the land of the free and the home of the brave. But that is not true anymore. We are no longer free, and we are no longer brave.

Today, millions of Americans are slaves and cowards — slaves to youth sports, and too cowardly to say to a six-year-old girl, “No, Brittany, I’m not driving you to your 17th soccer practice this week. You’re just going to have to skip a day and stay home, OK?”

Kids start youth sports at such a young age nowadays. I drove by a soccer game last week and I swear the kids were still in diapers. When the ball was at the far end of the field, I think I saw the goalie’s mom run out and breast-feed him.

Youth sports are now the leading cause of poor health in the United States, far surpassing the effects of tobacco, alcohol, and fatty foods. Of course, I’m talking about the parents. Youth sports actually can be healthy for the kids participating, since every minute spent at those 17 practices each week is a minute not spent playing video games and inhaling jumbo-sized bags of cheese doodles.

But for the parents of little Brittany and Brian, Jennifer and Jason, youth sports have become an all-consuming, relentless, exhausting nightmare.

I know a young man who used to be energetic, funny, and full of life. Then his two sons began playing youth hockey. Now this guy, after just a few years, is often mistaken for someone’s grandfather. His hair turned gray and there are perpetual dark circles under his eyes.

This man’s life has become a horror movie. He now does only two things: go to work, and be involved in youth sports. Back in 2013 he was forced to give up sleeping entirely. Last winter I once heard him mumble, “If I can just make it through the hockey season, then I’ll be able to go to bed. If I can hang on until mid-April, I’ll finally be able to take a nap.”

But then to his dismay, he discovered the very last day of the youth hockey season turned out to be the very FIRST day of the youth lacrosse season. Recently, I heard him mumble, “If I can just make it until the year 2026, when my youngest son graduates high school, then I’ll be able to go to bed.”

Some youth sports parents are lucky. They get to sleep for an hour or two each night. The reason my Hockey Dad friend cannot sleep at all is because he’s not only a youth sports parent, he is also a youth sports volunteer coach. Like all youth sports parents, he is required by law to be in attendance for every practice, game, and tournament; and to put in more hours behind the wheel shuttling the kids back and forth than a New York City cabbie. But as a volunteer coach, he has the added duties of planning the schedule of games and practices, organizing pizza parties, taking inventory of the uniforms and equipment, and responding to the threatening phone calls from outraged parents who can’t understand why their little Davey is not getting more playing time.

I think we’d all be a lot better off if parents cut back on the organized youth sports and sent their kids out in the back yard to play impromptu games with the neighborhood kids. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I just heard that a new, even younger, league is starting up: the Fetus Soccer League. This way the kids will have a little experience under their belts when they join the Diaper Soccer League at age 1.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

We Have a Need to Worship

In the Old Testament, God’s Chosen People often got in trouble with the Lord. The problem wasn’t that they neglected worshipping God, but that they worshipped other gods at the same time.

Quite often the ancient Israelites were quick to adopt the religious practices of neighboring countries. They would carve idols and engage in rituals to serve these foreign gods. It seems the people were following all of their religious impulses. They were more than willing to try anything that might put them in closer contact with the divine, spiritual world.

However, the One True God does not want people to waste time worshipping things that are not divine. In Scripture, God often uses the allegory of marriage to describe His relationship with His people. When people worship false gods, it’s considered to be adultery.

Nowadays, we have the exact opposite problem: we don’t worship anything. We ignore all of our religious impulses. Our modern culture doesn’t do anything to put ourselves in closer contact with the divine, spiritual world. We may not overtly be committing spiritual adultery, but it certainly is a loveless marriage.

Our present-day secular society ignores our instinctive inner desire to be in contact with the eternal world. We’ve become so earthly, so materialistic, so carnal, that we’ve choked off the most important aspect of our very being: our soul, our spirit, our unique inner non-material self.

The people shaping our secular mindset are quick to explain that human religious impulses are merely unnecessary vestiges of evolution. The primary assumption of these folks is that there is no such thing as a spiritual dimension to reality (an unproven and, and if you ask me, wildly incorrect assumption). Therefore, their only conclusion is that all spiritual desires are mistaken.

However, centuries ago St. Augustine had it right when he said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” The reason is simple. We were created by God, and He made us with a built-in desire to be in a relationship with Him. If we ignore this desire, as our modern culture has done, we will be restless. 

Now, really, can anyone look at our present society and say that, in general, people are peaceful and serene? Of course not. The dominant traits of our modern world are anxiety and frustration.

Despite what the so-called experts say, let’s look at some facts. Human beings experience tiredness and have a desire to rest. And guess what? We have sleep to satisfy that desire.

People get thirsty and have a desire to quench that thirst. What do you know? There is water.

We feel hungry and have a desire to alleviate the gnawing sensation in our stomachs. Well, lookee here, there’s food.

We have sexual desires, and there is the physical love of the marriage union.

All of the primary desires we experience have something real that will satisfy them. But when it comes to our desire to be in touch with the spiritual, eternal world, we are told it’s just a mirage. It’s just a silly desire, which has no real fulfillment. Hmm, does that make any sense? The only thing that seems silly here, is the secular point of view.

We have an instinctive desire to be in touch with the divine Spirit. We want to know how we came into existence, what our purpose is on this earth, and where we’re going after we die. These are not silly questions nor useless longings. The Lord God created us, and He wants us to seek Him. 

So, seek the Lord. It’s not a foolish whim. He made us to be in a loving relationship with Him. But don’t be like the ancient Israelites and worship every false deity that comes down the pike. There is only one God, and He is our Heavenly Father.