Monday, June 08, 2009

A Compelling (Rhythm of) Life: Five

Here's the fifth and final section in a 'Rhythm of Life'. This section follows on from the first, second, third and fourth posts (read first) . . . as always, your feedback is welcome. Anyone who has any thoughts on this stuff I'd welcome your insights, questions, experiences. There has been some progress on a conversation regarding this Rhythm at the Dreamers of the Day site here. Thanks!


Desire as Fuel for the Journey
Desire plays a huge role in life. Many Christians view desire with suspicion and some with contempt, seeing it as that aspect of the human soul that leads one away from the path of God into rebellious habits. Their response, I believe, stems mostly from fear of the unknown. If we are to truly understand our deepest, core desires as human beings, we must begin telling the Story from the beginning - not from the Fall where many churches focus their efforts. We need to remember that in the beginning God created and it was good. He made us for Himself and there was joy in that union between God and humanity. It follows then that if God made us for Himself, our greatest longing, fulfillment and desire can only be met in Him. By nature, God is an independent being and humans are dependent beings. Independent being(s) by nature exist outside of the need - or self-sustaining - desire for what others or things offer them. They exist in their own right regardless of anything else. Dependent beings however, must derive their value, their identity and therefore their worldview from independent sources in order for them to thrive in health and wholeness. Unfortunately, the opposite has proven true throughout much of history leading us into the ‘crisis of the soul’ humanity now experiences. We need to get back to ‘good’.

One prayer I often pray for myself and others is that God will remind us of our hunger for Him. Since He, in fact, made us for Himself in love, our greatest desire - everyone’s greatest desire - is truly for the One who loves them, although that desire is possibly hidden under layers of rebellion. Ontologically, desire is such a foundational building block in the human soul that it follows we need to see change happen at that deepest level of who we are for the rest of our soul to be transformed. That process of change can come about through individuals getting in touch with their God-desire, whether or not they call it that or recognise the desire in the first place. People are yearning for God and so many cannot even see it. We might immediately think of those ‘outside’ the confessing Christian family when we hear a sentence like that, but the same is true of those of us who confess. We often still seek satisfaction through avenues other than God when our God-hunger begins to surface. The challenge in life is redirecting our souls to the Source that absolutely satisfies. Our desire for God - or to what degree we’re aware of it - sets the stage for God to show up in our lives. Our desire forms the basis of our invitation to God; an invitation He will not quickly pass up. Recognising this and owning it is a key step toward healthy growth in Christ-likeness.

Deconstructing and analyzing our behaviours and motivations will often reveal a glimpse of our hunger for God which is intended to be a help for us in the spiritual journey, reminding us of our true ‘home’ in God Himself. Answers to our prayers, miraculous experiences and the acquisition of inspired knowledge will never substitute for intimacy with the Lover of our souls. He is our Great Reward, He is our True Desire, He is the Fulfillment of our soul’s longing. God extends a wonderful grace to us that in those times when we honestly do not sense or own desire for Him, this too He can grant us if we only ask. We find our beginning and end in Him who is and who sustains everything. In conclusion, all of the aforementioned details of developing a Rhythm of Life are meaningless activity unless propelled by a rapacious hunger for the Living God.

May God reveal to us that all the best we dream for ourselves and others is animated in Him.

“Few people could imagine what God would make of them if they would whole-heartedly surrender themselves into His loving care."

- - St. Ignatius of Loyola; founder of the Jesuits

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