I have been longing for so long for life to be different that I feel that all I've become is a vessel of yearning for which there is not respite, no peace.

I have been at peace for so long that I fear I might never reach again, knowing the things that are now revealed through my faith and relentless searching. My peace is complete.

I am both these things. I am both wholly unsatisfied and completely at peace. How can this be? How can I be of such diametrically opposed minds at the same time?

C.S.Lewis put it so perfectly in The Weight of Glory:

We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words – to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it… At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendors we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.

It has taken me 42 years to understand and appreciate that this world is at once beautiful and amazing, and limited and disappointing. There is no need for me to choose – it is all these things. What I control is where I throw my attention, my words, and my presence.

I no longer want to wish for more time in the day – for there never will be. I no longer want to long for more time with my children at some particular stage in life, for there never will be. I no longer want to long for those who have passed to return, for mistakes to be erased, for relationships to be restored. I no longer want to long for any of these things. For longing is a false teacher that makes one feel as if they are not what they actually are – a passive observer of a life that is longed for, but does not exist.

Rather, life is an active sport worthy of full participation. I will take those things that I long for and I will take action to breathe new life into what is available before me.

Longing for more time with my small children? Instead I will recognize the gift that is this day and this moment. I will be attentive to the fact that one day, this day, will be the one to which I long to return.

Longing for restored relationships? Instead I will treasure the relationships that are before me now and work to insure that I am creating a brighter future with fewer regrets.

Longing for the past to be redone, changed, or improved? Instead I will appreciate that the pain as well as the beauty conspired to bring me to this very moment in time, and under my control is what I do right here, right now.

We live in a flawed realm with pain, disease, hurt, sickness, heartbreak, and death – this is the lie. We live in the artistic beauty of creation with sunrises, sunsets, babies laughing, soft puppies, and grand love – and this is the grand and awesome truth.

I need to learn to look at the opportunity before me and focus on how I use the time and energy I have rather than lamenting the lack. Life is not lack. I will live in the grand and awesome truth of abundance.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: