Doug Poling is a retired broadcast journalist who spent 25 years as a correspondent for CBS News, based in New York City. Since retirement, Doug has taught journalism classes at three universities and served as a leader and a Bible class teacher at a church in Franklin, Tennessee. He is married to the former Donna Wiley. They have one son, Jason, and two grandchildren, Ethan and Charlie.
A recent article in the newspaper The Washington Post points out that religious sites throughout the world are enjoying a surge of interest by travelers. The article mentioned one shrine to the Virgin Mary in Bosnia which had more than a million visitors last year, ten times the number that came a decade ago. Last year a record 6 million people visited the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, in Jerusalem. More than 2 million visited Mecca in Saudi Arabia, and 70 million Hindus went to the Ganges River for spiritual cleansing.
The writer offered some possible explanations for this renewed interest in holy sites. He said the Internet has allowed people to learn about places they may not have heard of. And he said that, for many, cheaper air fare makes it possible for them to go to these places.
I think there is something else involved. People are hungry for things beyond the material. They know this world and mere things can never satisfy the human soul. The Apostle Paul long ago saw evidence of that in the city of Athens. It seems as though the people there had a shrine to every god known to man. But they also had one statue with the inscription: “To the Unknown God.” When Paul spoke to the people, he said that he was here to proclaim that God to them.
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” We believe that searchers must go to the Holy Bible for the answers to questions about God and His relationship to man. The Bible tells of God’s love, which was manifested by the giving of His Son. People may flock to religious shrines. But God dwells in the human heart. Seek Him, and you will find Him.
That’s Today’s News and the Good news. I’m Doug Poling