“O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1)
The theme for Lent of 2018 is “Sitting with Our Longing.”
To sit with our longing is not an easy task. Most of us jump up in response to that longing and start seeking right away, even before we know which way to go!
What are the longings we experience? Longing for God. Longing for a spiritual home, a place to belong. Longing for love. Longing for our heart’s desire to be revealed—and then longing for it to be manifested. Longing for a call, for a purpose, for some satisfaction that seems to hover just out of reach…..
What if we were to sit still and attend to our longing before doing anything else?
Thomas Merton points out the futility of getting into the business of trying to answer our own longing. In Thoughts in Solitude, he asks, “What is the use of praying if at the very moment of prayer, we have so little confidence in God that we are busy planning our own kind of answer to our prayer?”
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
In this Lenten season, we are invited to sit with our longing; not to go charging off in any and every direction, but to be still and rest in the presence of God. There we can listen both for the still small voice that can only speak once the whirlwind has passed and to our longings themselves which, if we let them, may lead us at last where we most long to go.