Monday, October 09, 2006

Longing to Long

After talking with a few of you, some common themes are emerging. As I was re-reading part of The Sacred Romance I came across this quote that I thought really speaks to the struggles that several of you have expressed to me. What do you think?

"Inviting Jesus into the "aching abyss" of our heart, perhaps has more to do with holding our heart hopefully in partial emptiness in a way that allows desire to be rekindled "Disipline imposed from the outside eventually defeats when it is not matched by desire from within," said Dawson Trotman. There comes a place on our spiritual journey where renewed religious activity is of no use whatsoever. It is the place where God holds out his hand and asks us to give up our lovers and come and live with him in a much more personal way... We are both drawn to it and fear it. Part of us would rather return to Scripture memorization, or Bible study, or service - anything that would save us from the unknowns of walking with God...

The desire God has placed within us is wild in its longing to pursue the One who is unknown. Its capacity and drive is so powerful that it can only be captured momentarily in moments of deep soul communion or sexual ecstasy. And when the moment has passed, we can only hold it as an ache, a haunting of quicksilver that flashes a remembrance of innocence known and lost and, if we have begun to pass into the life of the Beloved, a hope of ecstasies yet to come."

3 comments:

Brandy said...

Interesting, to say the least. I am surprised that I did not catch this in my reading of the text. I think this quote really affirms what you said Mike, about stopping ones external efforts.

Sacred Romance makes a jump that I dont know if i follow completely though. their translation of this feeling as a place where God draws us deeper to himself is one I am not sure I understand. There is part of me that naturally wants to make things methodological and to take the five steps it is to get closer to God. Part of this is my modernistic worldview and part of it is, I think, straight up human nature.

what I wonder, is, how do we know when it is God drawing us closer to Himself and when is it us being lazy and apathetic? Or is that a dichotomy that needs to exist?

Just some thoughts.. but overall, i would have to say Amen.

Jen said...

I'm wrestling right now with this whole concept of longing to long. Mike said something to me in our one-on-one meeting about when we first become Christians it feels like God is walking hand in hand with us or so close all the time. But that the longer we walk with God and serve him the further from us it feels like God is. Sure sometimes we have these incredible seasons of close communion but as time wears on it becomes increasingly more difficult to feel that close connection with God. I have been in a season of just desireing to long for the longing for God. My constant prayer is that God will give me the desire to please him. Becuase right now I don't desire this, I want to but I don't really. I desire more to fill fulfilled and to succeed. And I do long for the longing for God.

WarePhreak Wyncoop said...

I struggle with the feeling side as I am not very emotional on the whole. Part of me feels like there should be more feeling, but part of me wonders about it as it doesn't match my personality. I know some of that is from the "arrows" but not all of it as I have generally tended to be even-keeled emotionally.

The part that speaks most to me is in the epilogue about forgetting. I remember the big times that God has come through but I don't remember the small daily loving reminders He gives me.