During my retreat last week, I meditated upon and ended up memorizing the following portion of a poem called, “All Desires Are Known,” by Walter Brueggemann in his book, Prayers for a Privileged People. Maybe it will encourage others of you as it has me.
We spend our energy managing our desires,
waiting on them
investing in them
trying to hide them.
But you know,
and you know by your presence how to change our desires,
because in your presence,
our desires lose their power
as we receive again your look of love,
your powerful embrace,
your steady summons,
and then we know our desires
are all too self-indulgent,
interrupted by the precious Psalmist,
“Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth
I desire other than you.
You have made us to desire only you,
you, our beginning and our end,
you, our food and our rest,
you, our joy and our peace.
Turn us from our desires that obsess us.
Unburden us that we may know
our true desire and end in communion with you,
you, who desire us as companion and lover.
Read “Hope” by C.S. Lewis in a small book called, Christian Behaviour. This was a series of 10 minute talks that Lewis gave on BBC. Lewis explains how those longings within us that are never quite satisfied here on earth are really longings for heaven. He says that the fulfillment of our longings is elusive, always fading away just when we think they will be fulfilled. Lewis suggests there are three responses when we realize our longings are going unmet.
- Fools Response–they blame things, have an attitude of “if only,” and attempt to have more experiences so that the longings will be fulfilled.
- Disillusioned “Sensible” response–give up, learn not to expect too much, repress that part of self that has these longings
- Christian way–they believe “Creatures are not borne with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist. . . If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that i was made for another world.”
- intimacy with another
- to be understood, valued, appreciated
- to be loved
- significance, praise
- to know and be known, to not be alone