Sehnsucht


One of the many things that I've been learning throughout the Corona Crisis is that there are many things that I can do without.

Cable boxes, for example, are not a necessity.  You can just stream everything, including all the cable channels.  We had one of those boxes on every TV in our house, costing us $8 a month. I dropped a whole bag of them off at the cable company office the other day, saving us nearly $720 a year!

I can also do without wearing real pants for very nearly the entire day, and no one knows because I'm only on video from the waist up.  This is a game changer. I mean, I'm wearing pants just not real ones... gym shorts, mostly.

What I have learned that I can't live without however are the moments when I've been able to sit outside, taking in the sunlight, the gentle breeze of morning, the birds singing in the trees around my house...

I also have discovered that I can't live without doing this every day--sitting down, thinking, praying, journaling, writing, reflecting... I don't know what I would do if I didn't have this space to create.

There's a reason why these few hours in the morning are my favorite hours of the day---there's a longing within me that gets at least partially fulfilled  during those hours... a longing for connection to God and to the world.

C.S. Lewis used the word sehnsucht to describe that feeling.  He called it an  "inconsolable longing."  I completely understand how that feels, and so do you.

We've had to change our thinking quite a bit over the past few months, haven't we?  Most of the old ways we used to find fulfillment and peace---they are gone, and maybe forever.

In many ways, this crisis has done a number on our egos, and that might not be a bad thing.   Rather than feeling powerful and confident as we once may have, we now find ourselves stripped down, laid bare and vulnerable in ways that we never imagined.

And it's in those moments that we can almost hear God say, "Now you are right where you need to be."

Singer/Songwriter Andrew Peterson recently wrote this:
Wrench your heart away from all the things you think you need for your supposed financial security, your social status.  Set fire to your expectations, your rights, and even your dreams.  When all that is gone, it will be clear that the only thing you ever really had was this wild and Holy Spirit that whirls about inside you, urging you to follow where [the Holy Spirit] wind blows. 
In the end, all of the wealth we might attain, the material possessions we have, the power we amass for ourselves... none of that matters.  Most of the things in life we think will bring us satisfaction, probably won't.  They are, as Jesus put it, things of this world... things that don't last.

But if we are able to let go of all of those false desires, illusions of safety and security, and allow ourselves to surrender to the holy longing---the sehnsucht for God... that will change everything.

Because when the things of this world are stripped away from us, we discover the truest things are what is left... our longing for God, our need for deeper connection to the Divine and to one another, and the wildness of the Spirit of Christ within us.

All of these deep emotions can lead us to one thing if we are willing... an intense desire to stumble madly after Jesus with wild abandon, no matter what the cost.

May you find the courage you need to let all of the things of this world fall away, and may the longing that is left lead you to eternity both now and forever. 

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 

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