“Consumed with longing”
That’s such rich language. Can you think of any way to improve upon it to make it more deep-reaching?
The psalms can be like that.
My soul is consumed with longing
for your [God’s] laws at all times.
When I read a verse like that, I tend to have one of two reactions. Either it rings true and my heart says, “yes! Amen!” Or else I gloss over it. I barely notice the heartfelt vocabulary or I might even think it cheesy and self-righteous.
If I go beyond a skim read of this verse, it begs the question, “what is my soul consumed with longing for?”
If you frequent my blog regularly, chances are you’re big on reading. Is your soul ever consumed with longing for the book you’re in at the time? Or is your soul ever consumed with longing for peace and quiet?
It could be a number of other things:
- Coffee or something sweet
- “Me time”
I’m ashamed to say (though you probably could have figured it without my admitting to it) that I’ve longed for trivial and/or selfish things. Observing my past actions and attitudes, you could take the phrase “consumed with longing” and associate it with things that don’t merit such rich language. It’s pairing the sacred together with the common.
The Lord hand-crafted us to be creatures that long. Our longing is designed to compel us towards Him. We scorn that design when we long so passionately for something common and fleeting.
C.S. Lewis said it well:
If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
-C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Let our longings be first for God Himself, then for the things of God. If there’s any longing left in us after that, well… let’s deal with it if we get there. I have a feeling that’s a far-fetched scenario.
- What longings do you tend to feel for that are less than worthy? What makes them unworthy?
- Is it possible not to long for anything? How does that play out practically?
- Do you have a favorite, deeply expressive psalm of verse from Psalms?