I saw us on the lake one morning.
Ghosts of mist were rising from the shadows on Lake Trahlyta as the dawn broke. A brisk morning, about 50 degrees, it had the feeling of fall. Daylight was slowly peeking over the mountain.
On the water, vague shapes formed. Slowly they stood upright, but they were confused about where to go, gliding first one way, then another. When sunlight finally touched the water, however, the confusion ended. Gathering speed, the mists slid across the surface together toward the light like a crowd rushing to board a departing bus.
They were drawn irresistibly to the warmth. As they reached the sunlight, the mists became more solid and rose in an ever-growing plume toward the sun.
You and I are like those morning mists. We, too, feel a deep, undefined yearning. And, like the mists, we are easily blown in every direction. We move toward making more money and buying more things, thinking that will satisfy our inner hunger. We throw ourselves into work thinking a successful career is what we long for. Some bounce from relationship to relationship hoping that sex, if not love, will fill the emptiness.
The wise man Solomon felt the same pull long ago. He said that God has “set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Perhaps it is that awareness of something greater than ourselves, something beyond our temporal existence, which creates this longing in us.
Solomon also tried to fill that void. When you read his writings in Ecclesiastes, you find him describing his exploration of all the paths where we think happiness is hidden – money, work, education, sex. He tried it all.
Inevitably, he concludes that each of those fails to satisfy. Over and over again he chants, it is all “meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Everything, that is, but one. Solomon discovered that just one thing would satisfy the yearning: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (12:13).
The mists on Lake Trahlyta were drawn to the light; they rose toward the sun, the source of the warmth that formed them. We, too, are drawn toward the light. We also feel a tug to rise toward the son of the One who formed us. Nothing else will fill the longing He placed in our souls.