Lost and alone
Seems I’m missing
Questions and doubts
Do I blindly
For life’s meaning
Are you a human being? Yes? Well then, I’m sure you’ve grappled with at least some of what you’ve just read. I know I have. Humans are the only beings on Earth that have the ability to reason and think, and so it comes as no surprise that we question life and death, and all that it entails.
According to the philosopher and theologian St. Augustine, man is prone to a curious feeling of dissatisfaction and to a subtle sense of longing for something undefined. This feeling of dissatisfaction arises from his fallen condition: although he has an innate potential to relate to God or the absolute, this potential can never be fully realized, and so he yearns for other things to fill its place. Yet these other things do not satisfy, and he is left with an insatiable feeling of longing—longing for something that cannot be defined (1).
I remember when I was a child, first thinking of death. Man, it frightened the bejiggers out of me. I couldn’t grasp the concept of not existing anymore. How could I just live life and then “poof” one day be gone? No more. Wiped out of existence. It frightened me so much that I just willed myself to not think of it. Every so often though, it would come up in my thoughts again. This first happened when I was a child. Arriving at adulthood I started to question more. I think we all do. Where did I come from? Where am I really going when I die? Why am I frightened of death? What is the purpose of life? These types of things. You know, the light and fluffy stuff.
Phew! Ok, enough of ‘being heavy’. I’ve come to terms with all of this stuff in my life. I don’t consider myself to be wandering and wondering anymore, lost and alone, empty and hollow, crying out for meaning. I no longer sense a void or vacuum, and I believe that my life has value. However, I know that there are so many out there that are still living in the reality of this poem.
How about you? Does this poem cause you to think about the questions of life? Have you ever felt the way described here? Just a little food for thought for this Wednesday afternoon.
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17 thoughts on “Humanity’s Search”
God has no doubt put me on a path and has pointed me in the right direction. He definitely does not leave us purposeless that is for sure. There is always work to be done for his glory :]
Excellent. Would love to hear about your path. And I totally agree, we have purpose.
My father died very young and that caused me to question God and the afterlife. I wandered dark corridors for many years, seeking answers to questions that no one knew. I looked everywhere until one day I discovered that the only place I hadn’t looked was inside. It was there the whole time.
I’m so sorry to hear about the death of you father Rob. And I’m sure that this event would cause you to question God and his goodness. No doubt about it. When I see all the evil around the world and the atrocities that happen, I am convinced that it is all the result of fallen man and the free will we’ve been given.
Thank you so much for sharing and your vulnerability.
I also had such thoughts when I was a child — and I still do, though not with the same level of fear. But I take solace in the fact that I can leave a good impression behind if I live a good life. Thoughts will always come. But it’s what we’ve done and what we are about to do that the world sees.
Yea, I think all people, at one time or another, contemplate death and life and the universe, etc.
Thanks for sharing Uzoma.
This Saturday we are going to the funeral of an aquaintance. He was 80, and the last time we saw him seemed to be slim, healthy and happy. Now I’m thinking, Wow, I am only 12 years from that age. But though I can only speak for myself, it seems the older I am, the more at peace I am with the approaching inevitable. I can only guess that the older one gets the more Psalms 23:4-6 pushes out all fear.
I think you are right. I think that life is full of stages and once one reaches a certain age, if they have found that peace with God, death certainly can be approached with far less fear. Or not fear at all, ready to enter into their eternal home.
I cannot tell you how happy your response has made me.
Oh, that makes me happy. Thanks Richard.
hi stacy…oh lots to ponder here, though i had most every fear as a child, fear of death wasn’t one of them. i struggled mightily losing both parents and then family at a relatively young age, when i was 27.
i’m near 60 now. so being ‘alone’ in the world was my fear and journey to overcome, i often felt like an orphan. finding and finally believing i deserved Love was my personal salvation. it changed my life.
Really? I find that interesting that you didn’t fear the idea of death. Just goes to show you how each and every one of us are individual, unique and different.
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your parents and family. That must have been so tough.
Death always seems to shock me. Especially sudden death, unexpected. One day here, then next gone. Even when my dad was on his death bed, I didn’t see it coming. Then I received the phone call. It was like an unexpected bomb.
Being alone is a fear I believe that a lot of people have as well. I really believe that we were made for relationship.
Thanks for sharing a tiny part of your story.
Like you, I started asking such questions as a child. I remember being so afraid of these thoughts that there were many nights that I couldn’t sleep and would get up to watch the Tonight Show with my dad. As a teenager, these thoughts were difficult to turn off, so I kept myself very busy with school, work, sports and friends. When I wasn’t busy, however; the thoughts would flood my mind and trigger what I call “the dark and lonely feeling”.
The thoughts still come at times now, but I’m not so much afraid of them anymore. I think meditating and being married to a wonderful spiritual man who has unshakable faith has helped me a lot in this area. I was also recently moved by reading about Eben Alexander’s near death experience. I don’t know for sure if near death experiences are a glimpse of the beyond, but they give me hope. Celeste 🙂
Very interesting Celeste, how you pointed out trying to keep busy to turn off the thoughts. It makes me think that maybe that’s why so many people are often filling their time with busyness to keep themselves occupied and to not have to think of such deep issues such as this one. What do you think?
“he dark and lonely feeling”.
–Wow, yea, you hit the nail on the head there. You have really given me something to chew on Celeste. Lately, I’ve been reading and thinking about how we’ve been made for relationship. Nobody wants to be truly alone. Even extreme introverts that are more energized by being alone, need human connection and companionship.
I’ve never heard about Eben Alexander. I’ll have to google it and check it out.
Thanks Celeste for sharing your experiences.
That longing is for our true home, not this temporal home here on this fallen earth. Even if you are not a believer. You intuitively know that there is something grander, more permanent than our present home.
Just like it’s written in Ecclesiastes, “God has put eternity in the heart of man”.
…and my homesickness grows daily.