I feel fortunate to live in an area that provides access to what certainly has to be some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. A simple drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway and one can find themselves gasping at an expanse of mountainside as far as the eye can see, all from the comfort of one's own car. And that is exactly how I spent many weekends in my 20's. My idea of a perfect day would be loading up the car with a picnic lunch and some blankets, blasting some B-Tribe and driving up to the parkway to find a pull off to sit and stare at the magnificence that is North Carolina.
Something I always noticed, however, as I sat and gazed in amazement at rolling mountainside was that I always felt this empty sort of longing, a hunger. I could never quite identify it. It was kind of sad. It was something I always knew was deep inside of me but it really rose to the surface at these times. I decided that it was my soul longing for God. Makes sense, right?! Yeah, it was pretty freakin' poetic in a tormented sort of way so that's the theory I settled on. Although sometimes I just decided I was hungry so I got some fudge on my way back down the mountain.
Then one day I learned something....I learned that hiking was not walking down a trail for a few minutes then getting kind of freaked out that a bear would kill me or that I might have to use the bathroom or get hungry and turning around and walking back. Trails...went....places! Some went to the top of mountains! No cars required. No cars allowed actually!
What I found at the tops of many of these mountains was a view similar to those I had driven to in my 20's. Here's the weird part. It wasn't just my car that was missing from this new view, it was also that empty feeling....
Since then I've learned what that empty feeling really was and I guess I could still identify this as my longing for God but not exactly in the conventional sense I had believed earlier in life. It results from a life not well lived. It was viewing nature but not being a part of it. It was the ache of not trying, not going the distance. I seldom feel that ache now. Why?! Because I'm living the hell out of my life, that's why!! Where I used to stay in a job I hated, accept relationships that weren't right for me, walk away from workouts the moment they made me sweat and watch hours of TV and just be overall content with status quo instead, I'm building businesses, KILLING sweat soaked workouts, wearing out hiking boots, laughing until my stomach hurts, building Legos, sun on my face, hands and feet in the dirt, accepting no less than passion and great love and just overall soaking up every sweet second of life. Yes, I have my stressful, boring and even tragic moments but they are the still spots and I am progressively finding peace and even joy in those as well.
That hunger used to prevail in my life before I truly lived. I often filled it with food. Very often. Now I fill it with LIVING! As you go into this amazing weekend ask yourself, for what do you hunger?