Rabbi Soloveitchik noted that of the forty years spent in the desert, only two and a half of those years were problematic. The rest of the thirty-seven and a half years, were uneventful.
However, these quiet years were like witnessing a revelation every day. The Jews of the desert witnessed the miracles of the Manna, the Well of Miriam, and the Clouds of Glory, on a daily basis.
Because their physical needs were taken care of, they were able to feel Hashem’s Presence, all of the time.
The Beit Hamikdash also served this purpose. As long as there was a Temple in existence, the bond between Hashem and the Jewish people, was strong.
When there was no longer a Temple to visit, people did not realize what was lost. Perhaps this explains how on the one hand, so many Jews do not realize what was missing. And, on the other hand, the very holy Tzadikim, do not go a day without weeping for the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash.
The reality must be that this will be one of the tasks of the Mashiach. He will elevate the nation to the point where all Jews will understand what the significance of the Beit Hamikdash really is. His coming is needed so desperately. May he come speedily.