What We All Crave

Michelle and I spent 7 days at a hostel in Ecuador two weeks ago www.secretgardencotopaxi.com and I got a powerful peek into a craving of the human heart that is common to all people.

My daughter and her husband were working at this hostel guiding hikes and mountain bike trips for travelers --- mostly in their 20’s -- from all over the world.   

The conversations we had with these young people out on the trail and in nature about their lives were inspiring.  Back in the lodge nightly, all the guests (~35 of us) would eat together and then hang out playing cards, drinking beer, and talking about life. (There was zero internet or cell service. It’s amazing how social people are when there is no social media!)

These young adults came from all walks of life and most of them told us they were on soul-searching travel-quests they hoped would lead them toward clarity about the meaning of life, renewed purpose and greater joy. 

There was the young electrician and his wife from Canada who became disillusioned with life, sold all they had, and committed to a year of travelling to find themselves.

A 30-year lab technician from Chile who had been travelling solo for 400 days to escape her windowless work environment.

A talented journalist from Spain who quit her job due to frustration with a senior editor who feared offending the publication’s advertisers.

There is the argument that these folks need to grow up, stop living in La La Land and get on with being adults. At the same time, why smother dreams? Why settle for meaningless work?  Frankly, my heart bled for them.  They were good-hearted people just trying to figure out life.

What really broke my heart is that none of them had any process for defining what they want out of life. I enjoyed walking them through the life purpose models and concepts we use at the Halftime Institute and that I write about in The Joy Model. There really is a process to discern how to align your unique skills with your deepest passions and joyfully go about making a positive difference in the world.

I also enjoyed sharing that it is my personal and professional experience that none of our DOING can ever compare to the awesomeness of BEING in communion with God. Not a single one of these people had really given God a serious thought.  They had no axe to grind with Him.  They just thought the whole spiritual topic was irrelevant.  My strategy was not to teach or preach, but to ask questions to intrigue them enough to do their own research about God and Jesus. I hope it worked!

  • How are you doing in the DOING and BEING categories these days?
  • Who can you encourage to research the truth about God and Jesus?


“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” C.S. Lewis


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Jeff Spadafora6 Comments