Marcus Luttrell found himself blown off the side of the cliff, shrapnel imbedded in his leg, his water canteen lost, and the Afghani desert before him. Luttrell was alone. His three Navy SEAL companions were nowhere to be seen. Luttrell began to crawl, not being able to stand because of his wounded leg, across the desert. Luttrell wanted to just let himself die there in the desert. He wanted to give up but his unbearable thirst didn’t allow him. He had to keep going. He had to find water. After crawling 7 miles in the hot desert Luttrell was rescued. When reflecting about his impressive fight for survival, Luttrell confessed it was his thirst that saved him, as described in his book, Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.
I recall a moment of frustration with my own shortcomings when someone asked me, “Don’t you want to need God?” I still get upset with myself at times but those moments also remind me of the undeniable proven fact that I need God.
There is something to discomfort – with self, others, environment. There is something to need. There is something to not only the physical thirst we feel, but the deep existential thirst that gnaws at our souls. We are constantly reminded: I need something else, there’s got to be something else.
If we did not thirst would we drink? If we did not hunger would we eat?
The world we live in can’t stand the lack it feels inside. Why so many drugs? Why so much alcohol? Why so many dissipated relationships? People can’t stand the thirst and are seeking to either fill it or numb it any way they can.
Over the past 2,000 years the Catholic Church has been inviting all those who thirst to drink of the living water it claims to hold. The source and spring of this life-giving water is Jesus Christ. Perhaps this thirst that every person experiences will in the end be what saves him.
“What do I still lack?” This question is a very important one. It shows that in the moral conscience of a person and more precisely of a young person who is forming the plan for his or her whole life, there is hidden an aspiration to “something more.”