Tuesday, July 10, 2007

In the End, the World will Break Your Heart

After the assassination of of President John F. Kennedy, Patrick Moynihan was heard to say that to be Irish is to know in the end that the world will break your heart.

I think he understated the case. It is not just the Irish but all of humanity who know, if they are fully engaged with life, that in the end, the world will break your heart. I think that is what the apostle Paul was referring to in Romans 8:19-23 (ESV):

19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Life is fallen. It has enough beauty and majesty and wonder and promise and excitement to entrance and seduce, but in the end, its corruption and decay cause our spirit's to "groan inwardly" as we wait for something better, less transient and completely satisfying to our hungry and longing hearts.

To this longing and hunger, Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:6) I am the key to "abundant life." (John 10:10) "I am the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the alpha and the omega." (cf. Rev. 21:6). He alone can satisfy. And with what does He satisfy? Not with trinkets and baubles, not with transitory and smaller things. He satisfies us with Himself. So the Psalmist cries out, "whom have I in heaven but You, and apart from You there is nothing I desire on earth." (Psalm 73:25).

How do you get to this level of spirituality? I only have a clue not a complete answer. Psalm 73 gives a hint. The psalmist says that he got to this level of faith and harmony with God's plan through a process of learning how to worship God not apart from trouble and confusion but by viewing the confusion through a wider lense. Read the Psalm. Study the Psalm. Pray the Psalm back to God. Run down the path that the psalmist ran and see what you learn. And in the process, learn to not put your hope in the world. Everything and everyone will always disappoint in the end. But Jesus never will. Never.
Lord Jesus, teach me this. Forgive me for having to relearn it when You have taught the same lesson so many times before. Help me to learn again that you alone can satisfy the longing of my heart. Make me pliable to Your Spirit show me the way of grace. Amen