Outside my morning window for enjoyment is a strategically placed bird feeder where a wide variety of birds such as chickadees, wrens, tufted titmouse, reds, blues and purple finches all dining on tiny sunflower seeds provided in abundance. The only problem is squirrels love the tiny seeds as well. In short order they fill their little jaws emptying the feeder. This morning I observed a young squirrel revisit the feeder I had not refilled since he had helped empty it the day before. He quickly lifted the top with his teeth and dove to the bottom….no seeds! He then backed out and circled the outside looking very closely. Again, no seeds! Within seconds he leaped back onto the limb from which the feeder hung and in a flash was off searching for food at other locations around the yard. It took that little squirrel only a few seconds to determine the reality that what he had assumed would meet his hunger needs came up empty.
I marveled at the simplicity of animal life in making life decisions. When their initial assumptions at getting their needs met do not work…..they quickly move on in search of another solution. I pondered how we humans could learn from them. We too look in various places assuming will meet our deepest longings (needs) that often come up empty. The ‘foods, resources’ for a good life are simply not available where we are looking (alcohol, drugs, sexual perversions, things, silly sitcoms, big houses, obsessive recreation, achievement, power). But, unlike the squirrel of the animal kingdom, we stay at the same ’empty container’ hoping for a miraculous filling that never comes through that source. We all know the common definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results”. Society seems to be insane, seeking fulfillment from containers that are simply “empty”. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, the life”. In other words, the way of life, the reality of life, life itself is found in Him. I don’t think Jesus really is offended by us asking, ‘Is this true? Are you really the way of life?”
The true, good-life pathway leading to meeting our deepest longings is best discovered when we ask good questions. Jesus does not mind us asking questions, He simply wants us to be honest with the answers we get. Is the container from which we are seeking fulfillment giving us the life we long for? If so, keep doing it! But please, be honest! If so many of the containers from which we seek life really work, then why do we seem to need ‘more and more’ of their non-filling ingredients? The Psalmist says, ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’, and Jesus promised ‘abundant life’ is found in Him. Trying giving Jesus the same effort you do other containers. I found Him to be sufficient for life’s filling and I know you will too.