It's been one of those days, one of those days where you own up to having desires that will never be actualized and that you hate that you have the desires at all. It's been one of those days where you look back on your individual past and wish it wasn't yours, you look to the future and are afraid of what is to come and sit wondering why the present feels like an oppressive fog in the midst of both, closing in around you. It's been one of those days where suddenly the impact of every human life dawns on you and part of you wishes this wasn't so because then you couldn't screw someone up. It's been one of those days where homework seems trivial, and it's time to write a blog post, to settle into your own thoughts for a while.
Desire. It is such a packed word, a word that essentially describes who we are. And as I ponder my own desires, I'm in awe about how much I don't know about myself, about how fluctuating my emotions are. I think we so often misplace our desires, make them something that we are not at our core okay with. We rush to claim our desire as truth, but it doesn't all come from us as we are bombarded with the pressures of what others want for us or by a past goodness or by cultural influences, always enticing. We should strive to be people of integrity, throwing off desire that is rationally unjustified and embodying that which breathes true life into our lungs. This is a dying to self process. It is pain.
The past. Is selfish. Events, tears, mistakes, haunt us, promising future resentment. It lunges at us unaware, and we find ourselves grappling for a new experience to be rid of it. Mmm, but the past is a blessing. God uses our pasts to point us to purpose, to reveal to us our own hearts, and we do ourselves a disservice not to reflect on it. This too is pain.
The future. Is huge. Grossly unknown, vastly open. It is terrifying, and our desires trick us into thinking we presently know what is ours, what will be, what is best for us, what is best for others. The truth, I don't know. I am afraid. And the presence of looming darkness threatens in the pain of the shaded light.
Influence. You have a role in each of these aspects of someone's life. Words that you had no idea were being used for God's glory were, and words you didn't mean to tear down, to break someone's heart, were used for just that purpose. Your span of influence is wide, and you can't see it. You matter to someone. But I think primarily it's important to know that you influence yourself more than you know. And from this, you taint the world with your perceptions. This is humbling. It can knock you off your feet. It can scrape the air from your lungs in a whopping pound of pain and Life.
I don't claim to know the truth about any of these things extensively. Actually, I write about them because I wish to know more. I wish to know how I can learn how to be here, now, free. It's funny though, because as I sit here, I know what Freedom looks like although I've never seen It. I know the voice of Freedom in the wilderness, the promise, the covenant, although I've never heard It. Although I have been led astray by my own heart, mistaken the feeling of slavery as the feeling of Freedom, I have learned to discern the purity of It amidst the yoke of burden.
And sometimes when I'm really quiet, I know that I am a child. When my soul is still, I surrender. For that small span of time, those days disappear. Pain is not an ending but a catheter. My heart desires--a passionate desire, is fully and irrevocably and tenderly actualized.