(Photo by Selma Komisky)
By Brittney Perez
In recent years the concept of spirituality has been front in center in today’s culture. Now spirituality in and of itself is not a new concept. It has very much been around for ages. Lately though I feel I’ve heard it talked about more so than in the past and in different ways.
In life we ask questions. Even at an early age our minds are constantly at work wanting to know the answers to all of life’s “whys.” If you’re a parent I’m sure you know exactly what I mean when I say this. As adults maybe we have gained more understanding, but we still question “why” to many things. Some of the age-old questions people ask are centered around the human spirit. What is this spirit that is inside of us? Does it even exist? What happens to us when we die? Is that it or does the human spirit live on after death? Death in this life is inevitable. Nobody denies that to be true, but what many don’t know is what happens next. That’s where spirituality comes into play.
Another aspect to spirituality that I hear people mention a lot involves self-care. With all these questions regarding the spirit, people seek out avenues for revelation. It’s not uncommon to hear people nowadays talk about “taking care of their soul”, meditating, or surrounding themselves with positive things that benefit their soul/spirit. Crystal healing is also something that is popular right now. People use crystals during meditation or in general as a way to promote “good energy” and the releasing of negative thoughts. While I’m not against self-care, I have a lot of questions when it comes to self-care and spirituality. To be considered spiritual, you don’t necessarily need to believe in the existence of God. You can believe in many things and still consider yourself spiritual.
While self-care and being in touch with one’s soul may have its benefits; you may experience feeling more calm, relaxed, etc. it still doesn’t deep down fill the desire for something more. I love this quote by C.S. Lewis that says, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” Regardless if we want to admit it, our very beings desire more than what this world and the elements of it has to offer. If that weren’t so and we as people were completely satisfied, we wouldn’t be seeking out remedies for our spirits or question the meaning to life. We would be satisfied and often we’re not. Too often despite all our efforts toward “self-care” and soul searching we still find ourselves longing.
In my personal experience, I’ve contemplated the meaning of life and came up wanting apart from Jesus. I would argue that spirituality alone, apart from Jesus, does not offer the hope our soul desperately craves. Let me explain. Meditation, crystals, whatever you may think of when it comes to spirituality, if it’s meant to help achieve a sense of spiritual awareness, what is the awareness of? For me, when I try to make sense of the universe, myself, etc, apart from God I just end up with more questions, which in turn, gives me more anxiety than fulfillment! I’m not sure if anyone can relate. Today, spirituality seems to capitalize on consumerism. You can pick and choose whatever forms of religion you like, in fact, to many this idea sounds great. Who needs to be tied down to one thing when you can enjoy various aspects of many things? You can take a little bit of everything and come up with your own spiritual recipe, whatever works for you. The thing for me is, I often don’t know what’s best for me. Having so many options puts pressure on me to choose and if you’re like me, too many options means a whole lot of chaos, which seems to defeat the purpose entirely in this case.
The reason I chose Jesus over all other options is because I’ve come to find that He is the only one that makes sense to me. He chooses to love me, even when I don’t always choose to put Him first (John 15:6). When the world offers me chaos, He offers me His perfect peace. When I feel terrible about myself, He reminds me of my worth in Him and lavishes me with the truths He confirms about me in His Word. When I mess things up, He extends His forgiveness to me. And what I love the most…He loves me with an unconditional love. Who doesn’t desire that? I love that His love isn’t just for me, it’s for anyone who would choose Him.
Whether you’re soul searching just started or you’ve been nurturing your spirituality for a while, I want you to know that true hope and fulfillment is only found in Jesus. In today’s culture, Jesus can almost be seen as a vain hope for fulfillment, but truly Jesus is the only answer and reason to hope. If you haven’t sought out Jesus, I would suggest Him and not just as a one-time “I’ll give Him a try” kind of thing, but really seek Him out. Read the Bible, which is His Word, or reread it. Compare Him to other spiritual options out there…if you do, I guarantee He’ll be the best decision you ever make.