There’s a new documentary on Netflix about Lady Gaga. Maybe you’re a fan, or not. One recent review pointed out something she said that was eye-opening. She admitted that even after “all the attention and the fame… I still feel like the loneliest person in the world.”
Can you imagine that? After the accomplished performances and many awards, she still feels lonely. This means that fulfilling your dream isn’t always fulfilling. Even if the pursuit produces a win, it doesn’t guarantee meaning and happiness.
It points to something I believe about everyone. Every soul hungers for hope. Everyone one of us.
There’s a story that Jesus told about a son who’s gone off and spent all his Dad’s inheritance and figures out only after he’s cleaning a pig pen with nothing to eat that his Dad’s servants eat better than him. He wisely heads back to ask his Dad for a job since the family tie has been broken.
When his Dad sees him from a distance returning, he pulls up his robe (1st-century fashion) and RUNS to meet his son and throws a party. Surprise! This reckless son finds hope in a Dad who runs to him.
His older brother hears noise from the party and is upset. He’s been that good boy, always doing things right, maybe going to church, but with anger beneath it all. His Dad is saddened but reminds him, “everything I have is yours, you have always been with me.” Even this religious son finds hope in a Dad who unconditionally loves.
And so Jesus tells us something about us and God.
We are all hungry for hope – whether we’re reckless, religious, restless or anything else. And God is like that loving father who runs towards us regardless of our brokenness, pride or pain.
Christmas reminds us of what God is like. Though the world can be filled with the reckless, religious, or restless God sent his Son for all of us. Though there’s brokenness all around us and often within us, He ran towards humanity. He came to meet us. And his offer of hope is on the table for everyone ready to receive it.
Perhaps success or fame can camouflage the soul’s hunger for hope for a while, but like Lady Gaga, you eventually realize your own need for it.
Do what you can this Christmas to get somewhere to rekindle the hope waiting to be discovered again.
(BIO) David Manafo is a local DDO resident who loves seeing his neighborhood and city flourish. Happily married with two kids. He’s the pastor of the Westside Gathering (a church in DDO) (link: www.westsidegathering.com). Westside’s Christmas Celebration is on Saturday, December 23 @ 6 pm or 7:30 PM // You can hear the full story about the Father and son HERE.