Meant for More
by Kelly Givens
The other day I watched a video on YouTube that totally pulled at my heart. It showed two dozen ducks being introduced to a pond for the first time; the ducks had been “pets” of a hoarder who had kept them in pens all their lives. After being rescued and brought to a pond, the frightened ducks kept their distance from the water, unwilling to go in. The rescue workers herded them into the pond, but the ducks immediately got out. Finally, the workers gently tossed them in one at a time. That seemed to do the trick- they began tentatively swimming, then diving under and splashing themselves in the cool water. Eventually they were all vigorously grooming themselves- probably feeling more refreshed, clean, more like ducks than they had ever felt before.
I wonder what thoughts the ducks might have had while they were in those pens. Did they ever wonder - “Why do I have these wings- what are they for? And why are my feet so awkward?” The joy they must have felt when their webbed feet first glided through water and their wings spread out with room and air to soar, when those unnamed desires- to swim, to fly- were first named and fulfilled. And then I think of how much they resisted getting in the water in the first place.
We are so similar to these ducks. We too have unnamed longings, unanswered questions about our lives here on earth. The world doesn’t satisfy us, it lets us down, but we don’t know where to look for more. We see this in the football champion who wakes up after the biggest game of his life and all he feels an empty, “What’s next?” Or in the young executive who climbs the corporate ladder, believing the next job title will finally make him significant. We see it in the teen who does harder and harder drugs on a never ending quest to reach a high that will erase all the lows of her life. We all have an emptiness inside we want to fill, a purpose in life we want to find, questions we want someone to answer.
The Christian narrative gives us these answers. Christ fills us up, he gives us purpose- but we have to be willing to “get in the water”- believe in him- to experience these things. We yearn for more because we were created for more- for eternal life in the presence of our Lord and Savior. Through faith in Jesus, we’re given purpose for today and in the days to come, and satisfying joy when we live for God’s glory and not our own. Sadly, we resist believing this good news because we think the world can give us what we yearn for. To think this way is pointless, a “chasing after the wind.” (Ecc. 1:14)
C.S. Lewis wrote about our longings for more so exquisitely. My favorite of his writings comes from the Chronicles of Narnia, in the Last Battle, when those who have faithfully fought for Aslan and Narnia are finally entering the “New Narnia,“ Lewis’ version of the new heavens and new earth. The Unicorn summed it up beautifully: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that is sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”
Intersecting Faith and Life: Do you wish for more out of life? Do you have unnamed desires that you can’t seem to satisfy? Lewis wrote, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” Stop standing on the edge, “get in the water” with Jesus and experience the all-satisfying joy and life he promises those who know and put their trust in him.