Some years ago, Chris McCandless hitched a ride out of South Dakota to begin his great escape to the Alaskan wilderness.
Chris sought a solitary existence … a season of self-discovery. He gave himself a new name and left his last human contact in the area of Mt. McKinley. He tramped down the stampede trail to the place he thought he had been looking for all his life. Four months later, he died from starvation. His tragic tale is told in Jon Krakauer’s book, “Into the Wild.”
Though Chris is a most severe example, he is not unlike so many who go seeking a new life or enlightenment through an illicit relationship; a drug experience; abandoned responsibility; a pleasure spree or uncontrolled spending. When the far country is finally attained, our plunge to despair begins. When the magic is gone, bitterness finds a home in us. We weep for our disappointments and sing the anthem of my generation: “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
As long as we are searching out new horizons for meaning and peace, we are cursed to disappointment and grief. What we need is not to be found in the far country, but with the Father at home.