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Exempt from Public Haunt

8/30/03

Desires, needs, longings. Everyone experiences them. How we deal with them determines
how much satisfaction we feel in our lives.
Some seek fulfillment externally. They chase through a dizzying sequence of new thrills,
possessions, jobs, and relationships. They live hedonistically, seeking out that one new thing that will fill
the overwhelming emptiness of their souls.
But at best, all they can achieve through those externally-oriented efforts is a momentary respite…
a mere temporary dulling of the ache that eats away at the edge of their souls. No thrill…no possession…
no job…no relationship can ever provide the fulfillment they seek – so disillusionment eventually sets in
and they cast aside their most recent acquisition in favor of another that will – they hope – yield to them the
peace they so desperately seek.
True fulfillment, however, can only come from within. It is not a possession – it is a state of
being. To attain it, one needs to be at peace with one’s self and with one’s Lord.
To discover that peace, an individual must divorce himself or herself from those pressures in our
consumption-driven world that attempt to mislead us into believing that possession of the next status
symbol will bring lasting satisfaction.
Here at Madawaska we have the opportunity to pursue the quiet reflection needed to begin that
search for inner peace. Here we are exempt from public haunt and all the pressures and demands that
accompany it.
Whether hiking or running out on the trails, venturing out onto the lake in canoe or motorboat, or
just reflecting out on the dock while clouds slip by overhead and the lake’s waves rhythmically lap about –
Madawaska offers an escape from the clash of competing demands that characterizes modern society.
Here dwells quietude, a calmness where introspective thought is possible. Pleasures here are
simple: good friendships, good food, and wholesome activities.
Exempt from that stressful striving enforced by artificial deadlines, contrived consumerism, and
society’s self-proclaimed prophets of instant gratification, Madawaska’s wilderness setting embodies the
calmness needed for meaningful…spiritual…contemplation.
Only by being exempt from public haunt can true fulfillment be achieved.

by Al deAprix
A Camping Devotional