We are All Homesick for Something

What are you missing?

There is a feeling that comes and goes in the human heart. It is called hiraeth. Hiraeth is a Welsh concept of longing for home. Many Welsh people claim ‘hiraeth’ is a word which cannot be translated, meaning more than solely “missing something” or “missing home.” It is an unexplained longing. The only English word that comes close to translation would be “longing” or “longingness”. However, neither captures the deep poetic sense that its Welsh counterpart does.

We may not know how to define it but we have all felt it at one time or another.

I have heard it said that we humans are made to miss God. That we have in our souls we have a longing for something more, something that is not here.

Studies show that even when a person has wealth, family and happiness there is often an unexplained longing for something more. This feeling is elusive. The person experiencing it cannot always put the feeling of absent something into words.

Why is it that we all have this common human experience? Why can’t we explain what we are missing?

Christians explain it as we are “not of this world”. The concept comes from John 18:36 where Jesus says that His kingdom is “not of this world”. Christians are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). Our lives here on this beautiful blue planet are short, nothing but a vapor (James 4:14).

That longing, that hireath, is something we can and will attempt to fill with a lot of things. Maybe that is where addiction really comes from.

I am not going to feed you the line of bull that once you become a Christian all your impulses to fill that void will disappear once you have found God. What I will tell you is that when you let God and the love of God steer your life, day by day, moment by moment, the want of filling that hole with other things is easier to manage.

It is easier because you know God wants a better life for you. It is easier because you want a better life for you.

You will still want something you can’t explain. You will long for the unsettling desire to stop waking you up at night and stop clouding your thoughts.

If you focus on your mission, your cause in life, dedicate all you do for the betterment of humans through love, your restlessness will fade.

Believe that there is something out there better than the temporary fixes of this life.

~Lori O’Gara

P.S. If you send me a letter I will write you one back.

This article also published on Medium

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