Thursday, May 13, 2010

Capacity

Waiting can either increase or decrease our capacity. It depends on what we do while we wait. Running amok, turning into intense self-focus, going blank and hopeless, or harboring a smoldering, quiet anger – all ultimately sabotage our own wait, shrinking our soul’s ability to fully experience and receive the thing waited for when it finally presents itself to be enjoyed. Why? Why and how, after a long time of dreaming and desiring, could it be possible that we actually are less able to perceive the joys of what we desired? It has to do with the way the human heart is designed. In our all desires, there is found one root. Each hope is like a beam coming off one overwhelming, irresistible orb. What we so want, if we were to look as deeply as truth goes, comes back each time and in each form or manifestation to one thing – one center – one great desire.

It is God.

We want to be perfectly loved, with no selfishness or self-righteousness involved. We want to perfectly love – someone who is worthy of utter adoration and worthy of our effortful attempts at it. We want to be fully ourselves, and no one in the world can tell us who we really are, and cheer us and help us all along the way to become that, except God.

A song I adore says it like this:

To be passionately loved
And to passionately love
To be naked, unashamed
And happy in one place
To have all of your attentions
Surrendered to the truth
And be bathed head to toe
In the blood saved for you
To be eager to release
And the first one to repent
And to never even notice
When hours are spent
To come boldly to the throne
While all of life ensues
And be helplessly in love
With the blood shed for you
To be held like a baby
And to hold on like a baby

And so it happens, that while we desire all the normal and good things God created for us, we can do it in such a way that either embraces or shuns Him. In our minds we think they can be two unrelated heart events, the subtle shunning of God and the constructive desiring of good. The Christo-platonic philosophy of our culture separates God and physics, God and the physical. But I propose that in shunning God, we turn to “off” the very source of the capacity we were given to desire and perceive good. The second flows from the first. With the first dead, is it any wonder that we see people receive their secondary desires (those things they believe erroneously to be their primary desires) and with those things gained and grasped in their hands, they themselves are sucked down into destruction and disappointment and bitterness?

Life can read like a French novel.

And if one can’t read French, a good translation of basically every modern movie out there will suffice. At the end of most, were we to be honest, once the hero and heroine have kissed or the world has been saved or all the orcs’ heads cut off, we find ourselves emotionally poised on the lip of a deep, and blackest of black, chasm. The finale is hollow, the package is empty, the heart is still yearning for something eternally good and eternally truth. And something for us, not for the fake people in the story.

On the other hand, if one spends the time of desiring (of waiting) on a quest to broaden the heart’s openness to the core One desired, to discover the voice of eternal Joy Himself, I believe one will find at the end of the wait that in increasing our heart’s familiarity with and capacity for ultimate good, we are more fully able to recognize, receive, and experience the temporal goods.

This is the exact opposite of the wisdom you find inside every newspaper, on the cover of every magazine, and in the minds of every American neighbor, so watch out. Telling such truths might get you labeled a fanatic, and using reason and intelligence to reveal God might be called mindless religion.

But that doesn’t matter. In the end, you’re happier, you’re whole, and you’ve an eternity to spend delighting in Delight Himself and in all His beautiful beams.

5 comments:

mytch=) said...

I read your book Perpetua. I liked it a lot. I also read your blog; I really like it! =) Keep writing! God bless.

Anonymous said...

What is that song?

Amy Rachel Peterson said...

I think it's called "Round and Round" on Barry and Michelle Patterson's cd, "Birth"

Callie said...

I love you you know :)

Amy Rachel Peterson said...

I know! and it makes me so HAPPY!!!!! :)