"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What do you long for?

Equilibrium. Rest. Peace and quiet.

This, I think, is what I truly long for. As I have pondered the words of Jesus, What do you want?, and I have asked Him to reveal my hidden longings... this is what comes bubbling up from within.

What do I want, Jesus? I want to be at peace. I want rest and order. I want quiet and simplicity. I want equilibrium.

Is this a sinful longing? I don't think so. I am asking God this very question. And, I believe it is a God-given desire, actually,---a longing that He gives and that He can fill.

I wonder if many or most of our real, hidden longings... if we reach back and deep in... are the longings created in us by Him and for Him to answer.

What do you want, I wonder? What do you really long for?

Is your longing "connection"? Purpose. To feel special or adored? To serve. Or to receive? To be seen or to be happy?

...to be at rest, like me?

Like the shape of our noses, or the color of our eyes... our longings are all different--- and yet, the same.

And, our longings are a sometimes very mixed up, aren't they? Mine are.

Like a mixed ball of string, one thread of the longing is godly and right; while the other threads, are mixed motivation and flesh strategies... and sin... all mixed in. What is what?

"...our desire for equilibrium can become an idolatrous attempt to deny a large part of what life is all about... the Psalms robustly deal with life as it really is and find God in disorientation as well as in harmony. We need to comprehend that there is no place where God is not" ~Elizabeth Canham

When does my longing for rest become idolatry? When does your longing to be heard, to be noticed, to serve, or to be loved stop being about God-given desires and become a 'god' in-and-of-itself?

I think, at least in part, our longings get off-the-mark when we try to accomplish them ourselves. We try to get them, or do them, on our own. A mentor helped me think through this yesterday with the question, "How and when do I try to make it happen?" When am I trying to fulfill my longing.

What are my learned behaviors, strategies, and coping mechanisms that work hard to "get it"on my own? In my flesh I can try to make it happen... just in case God doesn't show up!

Just in case this God-given longing is not filled by God (somewhere deep within I still 'hedge my bets') I do this-n-that to make sure my longings are filled. Day in and day out, am I even this aware of my heart?

And, then when it doesn't work... which it never really does!!!... I then tend to drift into my escape or "self-medicating" acts and mechanisms--- that is where the over-eating, the over-watching, over-sleeping, over-worrying, or over-playing might happen. Then, I feel badly or shameful about this sinful behavior.

When actually, it was the four steps prior,--- the steps of thought, or more acceptable acts of flesh that are the deeper root of the problem: the four steps prior that didn't work and didn't bring fulfillment for my longings.

The idolatry of heart that didn't fulfill fails and so I might run to the other escapes.

Okay, so I want equilibrium and rest. So, my planning. My ordering. My organizing and cleaning. My list-making and my sorting-of my children (and attempt to sort-out and control my husband) are ways that I attempt to get this rest, to fulfill my longing.

These prior acts of behavior and thought can all be an attempt to make it happen ... all in the effort to get that rest, that peace-of-mind, that I am longing for...apart from God.

So, is the answer to stop those behaviors. Should I stop cleaning, organizing and planning? I don't think so. I don't think the answer is about not doing the laundry!

It is about the heart. It is about my heart... your heart.

My mentor asked me, "What are you leaning into?... what is it that you put your weight into?"
"When you feel a bit overwhelmed, or out-of-control, or tired... where is your heart running to?"
Running to.
Leaning into.
Resting in...

Equilibrium and rest. Peace and quiet. Only He can fulfill this deepest desire in my soul.
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." Psalm 62:5

"This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it." Isaiah 30:15
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