When it first appears, we often ignore it.
When it fights for our attention, we dismiss it.
When it finally overpowers us, we may – at first – despise it.
But a longing for what?
No, not the “joys” defined by this world: ones constructed of gold, or fame, or temporal success.
They are fleeting.
And, in all honesty, they really are mere reflections of the attention and the envy that we receive from others. For what good are gold, and fame, and success if they cannot be measured against another’s?
But real joy – infinite joy – is a deep, abiding, and other-worldly confidence. It’s a knowing and a realization that we were loved into existence, and that we each have some purpose beyond our day-to-day existence.
Still, that irritates us doesn’t it?
Because it means, in the end, that we are not our own. And it means that God is not some vending machine into which we deposit the currency of petitioning prayer and receive back an equivalent value to satisfy our latest hunger.
And then we just turn and walk away. Free.
Until the next time we hunger.
But this continual contact has a way of connecting us to the infinite.
And it can change us.
Whether we want that to happen or not.Here is how C.S. Lewis explained it:
I had approached God, or my idea of God, without love, without awe, even without fear. He was, in my mental picture of this miracle, to appear neither as Saviour nor as Judge, but merely as a magician; and when He had done what was required on Him I supposed He would simply – well, go away.
It never crossed my mind that the tremendous contact which I solicited should have any consequences beyond restoring the status quo – Surprised By Joy
That last line affected me.
Because I’ve never really sought much in my own prayer life beyond a return to the status quo. Or, perhaps, something just a little bit better.
A restoration – a return to fullness – of health, of finances, of love.
But this constant reaching out comes at a price.
One which can unleash a power beyond our earthly control.
We have, merely, to recognize it and to respond.
And this power is unleashed precisely because He loved us into this world. And, just as importantly, because He wants to love us out of it as well.
That’s why longing – joy – keeps breaking through.
Even when we resist.
Take a few minutes, won’t you, to better understand C.S. Lewis’s definition of joy by watching the video embedded below.
And then, perhaps, you can today begin to connect to your own infinite joy.
Image Credit: Pixabay.com