For the Journey

Seasons change. This globe has been rocking and rolling in a come-here, go away relationship with its source of energy and life.

As a human family, we have also had an approach-avoidance relationship with our source of light and life. At times of our human history we have wanted God very close to protect and nourish and assist us. At other times we have struggled for our collective independence and self-direction from that confining Power. Isaiah prayed humbly, “We have become like those over whom You never ruled, like those who are not called by Your name” (Isaiah 63:19).

This week we are invited to experience simple longing. We join the yearning cold world for warmth and light. We join the ancient ache of Israel for God’s love and compassionate companionship. We unite ourselves with all men and women who have struggled to be god and have gratefully surrendered to their blessed reality of being children of the one God who may go by many names but remains faithful to those who seek.

This week our prayer can be influenced by our taking the opportunities to wait with which life presents us — at stoplights, checkout counters, airports, and waiting for special people to come home soon. There are empty and hollow places in our hearts and lives. We pray with them and stay with them, not filling them up so as to take our prayer away. We are learning to ache with the world and its ancient longing for return and unity with its loving Creator. This week we go to prayer, not to escape longing, but to embrace it. There must be room in our inn and a longing in our hearts if this Advent is not to be a frenetic disappointment. We listen to the ancient sighing, “How long, O Lord.” We listen to our own sighing, “Come, Lord Jesus.” As the sun changes its distance from the earth each day, we join the earth in this mystery of light in the midst of darkness.
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