Looking for something? Whether we know it or not, we all “lust” after the things we want.
Think about the chorus from this song:
Cause we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl.
Okay, are you singing and moving your body to the music you hear in your head? In case you don’t know, the chorus line above is from the song “Material Girl,” sung by then twenty-five-year-old Madonna. It catapulted the young singer to the top of the music charts and made her a sensational pop icon.
After years, probably a decade or more, I happened to hear the song again as I was working with my physical therapist to rehab my back. I noticed he was humming along to the music. I have to admit, it is a catchy a tune.
But as I stood there resting from my exercise this thought occurred to me: “It’s ironic that Madonna sang a song like that since she is now utterly devoted to Kabbalah (a form of Jewish Mysticism). I must have said my thought aloud—something my wife says I do too much—because my physical therapist responded verbally to what I was thinking.
The brief exchange that ensued got me thinking more about the song. “Material Girl” is essentially about a pretty young woman who isn’t looking for love in a romantic relationship. She’s looking for money and all the trappings that go with it. The underlying message is that this world is all there is so you might as well go for the gusto! Live for affluence, attention, and fame. It’s a funny thing though that this message doesn’t really seem to satisfy anyone.
The Pew Research Center reports that just about everyone prays at least once in a while, and the majority of us pray every day. Even atheists pray! What does this tell us? It tells us that we’re hardwired for more than just the physical world.
It means that whether we admit it or not we have a hunger for a transcendent experience with God. I like to call this hunger “wonderlust.” Wanderlust is the desire to travel the world. Wonderlust is the desire to know the One who made the world.
As good as this physical world is, we all search for meaning beyond it. Even the rich and famous do. I love the candor of actor and comedian Jim Carrey. He says, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” Somewhere along the way Madonna must have come to the same conclusion.
I don’t know much about Jewish Mysticism (Kabbalah), but I do know a few things about the ancient Jews and their religion. And I’m one of billions of people who have discovered that our wonderlust is being both satisfied and intensified by a Jew named Jesus of Nazareth.
You’ve probably already heard of Jesus and have formed an opinion of him. That’s what usually happens to famous people. Perhaps you’ve seen people who say they know him and their actions repel you. That happens often. But I hope that doesn’t put you off from knowing who Jesus really is.
You can know Jesus and read about his life, the things he said and did, in the four Gospels at the beginning of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Meeting Jesus just may change your opinion of him altogether. You might even discover that he is what you’ve been looking for your whole life. He will satisfy your wonderlust.
Have you experienced this “wonderlust”? Share about your experience(s).
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