Chasing a mirage – Last month on our way back from dropping our son off at college, we were driving along the interstate talking about radio waves and happened to see a mirage as we spoke.* I’ve seen extended mirages on the pavement ahead before, but I had never noticed before that they reflect objects around them. This mirage was reflecting orange construction cones, which made it very obvious.
My husband was talking about how the mirage just keeps going on and on as you approach, and you never reach it. I watched as mirage after mirage appeared and then disappeared before we reached it. I tried so hard to get a photo with my camera. I didn’t have great success. These will have to do:
A mirage is caused by the bending (refraction) of light waves when they pass from the cooler air into the hot air on the ground. Apparently the mind tries to interpret the sight by putting it in the same category as what it has already known. What else stretches out on the ground and reflects the sky? Water, of course! (This phenomena gives the appearance of water, but it is not water, just hot air.) And if we are thirsty, we are even more inclined to interpret what we are seeing as water.
We are prone to approach spiritual mirages, thirsty for meaning and love, thinking we have found the answer just up ahead. We look at that which sparkles and that which promises to fill our emptiness and fulfill our deepest needs. Possessions, unhealthy relationships, partying, and even intellectual pursuits, all those things are only mirages. We approach them with great hope and excitement, only to come up empty.
King Solomon did such a search, too. He searched for meaning in pleasure, education, and riches. But after coming up empty in his search of all sorts of things “under the sun”, he reveals the real thirst quencher that he finally discovered:
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them'” Ecclesiastes 12:1 NKJV
This is not a suggestion to find religion. Rather, it is his wise advice to turn our thoughts toward God, to focus on Him who is the Light of the world.
- He shines brighter than any sparkles.
- He satisfies the profoundest depths of our hungry hearts.
- The water of His Spirit quenches the thirst of our parched souls.
- He freely gives peace to our hearts, even amidst the chaos that may surround us.
- When we find Him and His love, we find we are finally home.
Jesus is the Light of the world. He is “the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power.” Hebrews 1:3a
So all of these things that God offers, Jesus offers.
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37,38 NKJV
Today I’m thankful that God fills our emptiness when we humbly come to Him on His terms.
I’m thankful that He is willing and able to rescue us from the loss of hope that comes from chasing after that which does not satisfy.
I’m thankful that He loves us and forgives us when we ask Him in faith to do so.
I’m thankful that He satisfies our inner hunger and thirst with His love and peace when we surrender to Him.
How about you? Are you searching for the meaning of life in anything besides God Himself? Are you seeking to quench the thirst of your soul in anything besides Him? Are you willing to call out to Him to rescue you and show you His truth and love? What is your takeaway from this post?
*Radio waves and light waves are both electromagnetic waves. I read more than one source that says that radio waves travel at the speed of light. I did not know that! Did you?
For more information on mirages, visit https://www.desertmuseum.org/books/nhsd_desert_air.php