Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fully Alive

Currently, I am reading Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton. It is a rich read. In the opening pages she addresses a struggle that surfaced all sorts of emotions in me. She talks about the longings of our heart. Those linked to our faith journey. The deep, often hidden, ever present longings. You know the ones. They make you ask the question: "Is there more than this". These same longings often express themselves as the desire for more, for deeper, for greater significance. Barton suggests that Jesus invites us to surface the longings and give them to Him. She refers to the times when Jesus approaches people and asks the question; What do you WANT from me? Have you thought about that. Really? Jesus asks Bartimaeus this question. I am thinking, sight was probably high on his list. Surely Jesus knew this. But there is more going on here. This question is meant to surface the obvious needs and the longings of our heart.

These longings can be satisfied. As we draw in close to God through living out the spiritual practices the longings of our heart can be expressed. Once they are named and offered to the Lord, He is faithful to honor.

And here is the other aspect of this. Longing is our hearts way of begging for life. Our faith walk HAS to be about more than heaven or some eventual ultimate salvation. It has got to be about our life here and now. A life that is devoted to seeking Jesus. A life devoted to being shaped by Jesus. A life devoted to seizing moments and living them for Jesus. A life devoted to justice, to mercy, to love. A life lived in such a way that our being empowers others around us to live fully too.


Frank Bellizzi said...

She's alive! Make that, fully alive!

Now I've got to go back and read what you've posted over the last week or so. Good to "see" you here again, Arlene.

Arlene Kasselman said...

I know Frank - I totally let blogging go in order to get wrapped up to go on my Come before Winter renewals. I have begun reading again and getting back into it.

Josh Kellar said...

Arlene, your comments have touched on several things I have been thinking about recently. Today especially I have felt a great spiritual longing than normal. Not sure why. Perhaps it is due to spiritual struggles with church or just the stress of life has God wispering louder in my ear. I love what you said, "longing is our heart's way of begging for life." You have challenged me to look for the way of life I have not been living that can satisfy my heart's desire. Thanks.