Have you ever felt like your spirit was lunging toward the light but your humanity was shrinking from it at the same time? I feel that way a lot, trying to mush these two realms of who I am together like a PBJ. I wish it were that easy. My soul feels constantly uneasy because it is never fully at home. My humanity feels constantly uneasy because its home seems to be the world, and the “world” is a very temporal place.
I was sitting in church on Sunday and it struck me just how badly I want to stop seeking things that just don’t last. Ecclesiastes is one long song to humanity reminding us that striving after the stuff of this world is in a word….meaningless. What is the stuff of this world? For me, it’s wanting to feel like the things I have grown to love in this life can’t be taken from me. It’s wanting some assurance that my choices and my behavior will lead to a certain destination. It’s wanting to feel secure and safe in a world that is not secure and not safe. It’s wanting to get ahead, of what I’m often not sure, but ahead of where I am at right now. It’s wanting God to not be offended that I am hooked on this life and that the desire to sink my roots into it only grow stronger.
When my pastor took a moment and genuinely slipped into that rare but sacred place of naked honesty and quietly said, “God shows us the difference between what is a vapor and what is enduring, and we will never feel rest until we seek what doesn’t fade away,” I almost couldn’t absorb it. This was one of those moments, where my spirit was lunging for the truth behind those words while my flesh was fearfully shrinking away from it. So strange, to know what is true yet somehow, some way, resist it.
This is where I live much of the time. Not necessarily torn. But most definitely aware of my divine desires mixed with my fleshly ones.
I want to pursue only what is enduring in this life, don’t you? I want to know the difference. I want to have the courage to lunge for the light, even when I know it will consume me. There is the me that is fighting for this worldly life. And there is the me who is being fought for by the Life. God never stops whispering in my ear the higher realities he is beckoning me to, even holding me in this very moment.
I used to feel bad that I wanted the world. Now I just feel grateful that God is showing me the difference between him and the stuff that doesn’t last, and whispering love into those broken places within that longing for security in a very insecure place.
So, life is now. God is asking me in this very moment,
Do you see me?
Can you hear me?
Are you able to be with me?
Will you let me fan the flames of eternal desire and dampen the flames of worldly desire? Will you let me?
I want to say….