One of the most obvious soul cravings our society experiences is the craving of intimacy. We want to be known. This is why social networks on the Internet are so popular. Even behind the mask of anonymity we want to be known. So often we feel hampered about being our true selves in the real world because we fear we might be judged, so we hide parts of our lives. We do our best to fit into the mold society, whether it is a social or a religious mold. While we may be hiding but our hearts are crying out: Know me!
Erwin McManus in his book Soul Cravings wrote about Kurt Cobain:
“In the opening page of Kurt Cobain’s journal, he writes, ‘Don’t read my diary when I’m gone. OK, I’m going to work now, when you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things and figure me out.’
“Kurt’s life tragically ended at the age of twenty-seven. Ironically, the name of his band was Nirvana, the Hindu name for paradise. The same artist who penned the song “Come as You Are” in the end never found what he was looking for, never found the help to figure himself out.
“I think we’re all more like Cobain than we would care to admit. We’re struggling to figure ourselves out. We’re all afraid to expose our souls to those who might judge us, and at the same times, we desperately need help to guide us on the journey.” (Cravings)
We long to be known and to be loved. In fact I have witnessed people do very destructive things in order to satisfy this craving and in the end they just ended up with more pain and more rejection.
Another craving that has become so very evident the last few years is the craving for significance. We want our lives to count for something and to have a purpose for our lives. When each day is a struggle to survive this craving is kept at bay, but when a person lives in an affluent culture like we do we begin to think about why we are here: What is the purpose of my life?
One piece of evidence for this craving was the success Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. The year that The Purpose Driven Life came out it was the second best selling book of the year, behind Harry Potter. That is phenomenal success for a non-fiction book! Non-fiction just don't sell at the same rate as fiction. People are hungry to discover purpose and to add meaning to their lives.
Another piece of evidence for this craving is how this younger generation’s primary goal in life is to become famous. They have bought into the lie that in order to do something significant they have to have their face on TV screens and magazine covers. We are driven to make our lives matter.
A third soul craving that we have is the craving for meaning. Perhaps this craving can be best summed up in the question: Isn’t there more to life? Not only do we want to find our place in the world but we also want to figure out the world in which we live. You can achieve great success and still wonder: Is this all there is?
Every belief system out there, from atheism to Christianity, seeks to make sense of our world. We want to know the truth about things. We are troubled by the reality of evil in this world as well as about the randomness of life. Our hearts break when we hear about another person with cancer, another natural disaster that kills hundreds, or another madman with a gun who slaughters people he never met. What is the meaning and purpose behind all of that? Is God really sovereign? Isn’t there more to life than eating, drinking, sleeping, and work? Is it really true that all we can be certain in this life are taxes and death? What is the purpose of all of this? Our hearts are crying out for answers. We crave to know the truth.