ONCE I found myself speaking with a hard tone to one of our children. But right in the middle of a sentence I stopped. Then I said, ''Honey there's something about this scene you need to understand. What you did was not the cutest thing you've ever done. I'm sure you know that. But the real problem is that I badly overreacted because there's something in me that feels empty. I'm sorry.'' She mutered a few words that showed relief and scurried off.
That experience has stuck with me. It made me realize that there is something in all of us that needs the tenderest kind of daily nourishment and without which we feel spirtually empty. Christ jesus saw our rel need when he gently urged all humanity to pray each day, ''Give us this day our daily bread.'' n1
n1 Matthew 6:11.
That daily nourishment is even more than dily provision. In a deeper sense, we can see it as a touch of spiritual grace; aperception of the truth of man as the precious child of God. It's a conviction, a bit more today than yesterday, that God does exist and that man is something far more and better than transient , trouble-plagued, or even blissful, matter.
There is much good going on in this weary world. People are sacrificing themselves to serve others, are laboring hard for mankind's progress. But many of those selfless givers may still feel an inner disquite, a malaise, an almost pitiful feeling of emptiness. It is a hunger that lingers right in the presence of widespread and lavish forms of entertainment and hype.
Sadly, those who try to fill this inner void merely with outward activity and material posessions may be among the most needy on earth. What really fills the void in the tender, daily reassurance, and feeling, that God truly loves us and that there is something more to life than frail material existance with its fleeting pleasures and often superficial goals.
Of course, it appears we're limited mortal beings, subject to empty materialism. But though we may not all know it, an entirely different concept of man exists -- a spiritual, enriching one. And we can sense that this concept, though perhaps statrlingly new to us, is the correct one.
The Apostle Paul wrote, ''The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we arte the children of God.'' n2 Because God is Spirit, infinite good, infinate good, isn[t man's true nature spiritual, the manifestation of good?
n2 Romans 8:16.
The first sign of our receptivity to something higher, something spiritural, may simply be the dawning in us that there must be something beyond mortaligy, beyond life in matter. For instance, who can find in matter a grain of the sublime quality of mother love? Or where in a material body or brain is there a hint of the selfless willingness to risk one's own life to save a stranger from a burning building or an icy river?
Next may follow a very quiet and natural awareness that if these magnificent qualities exist apart from physicality, it is also possible that man has an even higher nature, a permanent spirtual identity as the child of God. Jesus proved through his healings, resurrection, and ascension man's actual, spiritual selfhood. And his teachings point to the richness and fullness and freedom that a spiritual understanding of life confers.
To God's perfect man, there is no mortal malaise or restless discontent. There is only the peace and joy that emanate from God. This truth and at least a bit of its demonstration are what we yearn for and feel dissatisfied without. No amount of excitement or travel or athletics or hallucination or even danger can ever substitute.
Don't many of us sometimes suspect that the hype and the hustle after worldly adventure that seem so prevalent today are an attempt of evil to lure us away from the simple spiritual truth for which we really hunger?
But we do not need to be lured. We have God. So great is His tender love for man that His saving Christ is always present to reveal to us the good that He forever supplies.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, "Wholly apart from this mortal dream, this illusion and delusion of sense, Christian Science comes to reveal man as God's image, His idea, coexistent wiith Him -- God giving all and man having all that God gives." n3
n3 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p.5
As we look to God for satisfaction and for a higher meaning to life, realizing in prayer that He does provide all good, we'll experience that good. We need never feel empty again. Daily Bible Verse Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness . . .! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. Psalms 107:8, 9