I don’t watch much of reality television. It’s not very entertaining or informative for me. However, some of the programming is intriguing. I have looked in on a couple of pioneering shows, particularly about people living in the last frontier, Alaska. The families on those shows seem not only content, but appear to actually love it. In this modern era, one might wonder why anyone might be consumed with living in the 19th century. Log cabins, no central heat, wood for fuel, hunting and fishing for survival or indoor plumbing. Those are some the things many would consider basic for our own habitat. The whole “living off the land” and being totally independent-thing seems foreign to us who have been raised in the typical modern American culture.
The pioneering spirit that has been associated with Americans has been dwindling for a long time. The fire that burned in the bellies of early settlers and those who would make there way west in the late 19 century, has given way to the pampered lifestyle of a entitlement society. Americans no longer desire to “make their own way” but prefer to ride the coattails of those who have gone before.
The innate need to till the land is something that is not only in those with a longing for the purity of making their own way. Some grow potted house plants and tend small vegetable gardens. There is something about getting you hands in the dirt that is oddly satisfying. Most people really don’t realize it but they are filling a deep-seated need by doing this. They might even say it’s therapeutic and not really understand why.
These deep, fundamental desires are proof that humans have yearnings that can only be satisfied by experience. One can never live vicariously through reality media. Neither can you live another life through a biography. You may well be inspired or entertained, but it’s not the same. Watching and reading are no real substitute for direct involvement. It needs to be personal.
Another piece of the inward puzzle that is portrayed today has to do with relationships. Perhaps the strongest craving we have is to be in a close relationship with another human. This is not dissimilar to other desires that are born into our psyche. The entertainment industry would like us to think a relationship can be completely fulfilling, with the right person. If you are an adult, you know that no one is perfectly compatible with anyone, despite be precisely matched on a dating site. Yet, even with a great friendship or the ideal mate, there always seems to be something lacking in any relationship. There should be something more.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to fill the desires to live in the wilderness and be totally self-sufficient in today’s economy. You may not even want to try. Surely you would not want to do it alone. But there is an answer to the relationship problem. There is Someone who can satisfy that longing.
The God of all creation tells us through the prophet Jeremiah in Chapter 29 verse 13, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart”.