Easter: A Celebration of God’s Self-Giving Love and Beauty!

Easter: A Celebration of God’s Self-Giving Love and Beauty!

Are there ever moments in your life when your desire feels ravenous?

Moments when you are just never satisfied, always longing for, wanting, or craving bigger, better, more?

I use the term ravenous to mean intensely eager for satisfaction or gratification.  I have written extensively on this blog regarding the prevalence of desire within the human soul.

We can all probably agree, at least on some level, that many of our decisions related to how we spend our time and where we spend our money are birthed from implicit desires regarding what we think is best for us at that moment!

Further, it could be said that many of our daydreams are lost somewhere within the realm of desire; particularly desires that are left unfulfilled.

Asking Myself “Why” Rather Than “What”

It’s rare that I find myself pausing to discover or explore the unspoken hopes, dreams, and wishes which lurk just beneath my desires.

To put it another way, it’s seldom that I ask myself,

“Why do I desire the things that I desire?”

Or, yet another way,

“What’s the end of my desires? 

“Where are they (my desires) taking me?”

What if my desire – unending and ever-present – has an aim, target, or end?

What if the target of my desire(s) was something more than pleasure, happiness, momentary satisfaction, etc.?

Or, what if, somewhere beneath the surface of all my desire-driven-decisions to have more, go bigger, and be better, there lurks deeper, one might say otherworldly, longings?

Continue reading “Easter: A Celebration of God’s Self-Giving Love and Beauty!”

Imagine Yourself in the Presence of the King

Imagine Yourself in the Presence of the King

Imagine yourself in the presence of the King of Creation.

Imagine the majestic environment – the rarefied air, trees bustling with beauty and dignity – an atmosphere encased in a feeling of delight and joy!

Imagine sinking your teeth into a delectable piece of fruit, soaked with the fullness of life and the freshness of His touch.

Just beyond the horizon, you spy a crowd of animals: healthy and vibrant, on glorious display – marching in rhythm – beneath the base of distant majestic mountain ranges, too beautiful for the heart to fully behold.

Now imagine the King of this astounding place, in the midst of these astonishing surroundings, calling you to come near.

You!

From among all of the beautiful creatures around you, He’s selected you!

Continue reading “Imagine Yourself in the Presence of the King”

Sacred, Soul-Full, Satisfying!

“For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.” Psalm 107:9

The human heart beats to a rhythm known as longing. It is this rhythm that much of our society has learned to capitalize on and, in turn, make a profit. Indeed, the consumerist urge that drives the season of Christmas is simply another expression of longing and an example of our society’s ability to leverage that longing into a transaction that will leave us longing for more.

Every year, it seems, the Christmas season extends as Thanksgiving celebrations shrink. In fact this year we were not too deep into November before I began to notice Christmas decorations adorning the hallways of our supermarkets. A couple of weeks ago I noticed a lawn already decorated with the fullest of Christmas joy – two weeks before Thanksgiving.

I love to decorate our lawn and Melissa loves to decorate our home. But two weeks before Thanksgiving? Some might argue that it’s okay to get into the Christmas spirit a bit early. In fact, such a course might even help us extend that good old Christmas cheer in a culture where cheer is often in short supply.

However, I have a hunch that such a pursuit of Christmas cheer might be another expression of a deeper longing. A longing we all too often seek to fill with resources that leave us longing for more. After all, it was not all that long ago (less than a year) when we celebrated last Christmas.

Continue reading “Sacred, Soul-Full, Satisfying!”

The United States of Uncle Rico (A Repost)

**The following post is a ‘redraft’ of an earlier version that appears on  http://theshapeofdesire.blogspot.com/ where I currently feature poetry and the poetic form.   I hope to begin a mini series – with Melissa next week – on Porn, Power Narratives and the Promise of Lasting Change.  The series will contain the ways in which we have leaned upon the grace of God to live into His freedom and relied upon the love of each other in the good and the bad.

Stay tuned !  Until then, enjoy this older post!**

Pop culture is infatuated with the age of 17.   My wife and I live with three teenagers.  I can, from their perspective, understand why the age of 17 is so important.  After all, this is often an age during which one has a strong sense of tomorrow coupled with the feeling of invincibility.  

When I was seventeen I recall believing that I was at my peak in many ways.  I further recall thinking that my current age (forty-six) was a mere step from the grave.  Yes, from the perspective of a 17 year old adolescent, I get it – the world is their oyster.  

As I recall my late teen years now, it’s easy to see that I was, like most people the age of 17, completely incomplete.  Caught somewhere between Dustin Hoffman’s Rain Man and James Cameron’s Titanic: flashes of brilliant irrationality combined with a sense of superhuman invincibility. 

SITTING AROUND TALKING ABOUT . . . GLORY DAYS

What I do not ‘get,’ however, is why those of us over 40 still long for and dream about the ‘glory days’ once past; those days when we were . . . 17.  Consider this brief list of songs that extol in one way or another the virtues (or celebrates vices) of ‘yesteryear’ (mind you all of these are written by songwriters older than the age of 17, some of them much older):

  1. Yesterday, The Beatles
  2. You’ve Got to Fight for Your Right to Party, The Beastie Boys (okay, these guys were probably about 7 when they wrote this one).
  3. Dancing Queen, Abba
  4. Glory Days, The Boss
  5. Summer of 69, Bryan Adams
  6. Fast Cars and Freedom, Rascal Flatts
  7. Springsteen, Eric Church

In the interest of ‘fair play’ I admit that these songs and others like them (as well as a variety of components from our culture) may simply be relaying themes and ideas of times gone by in a way that causes us to pause and be thankful for where we are now; rather than longing for where we were then.  

Yes, this may well be the case.  

Futher UP Further In

However it is increasingly clear that we are living in a world that ‘idolizes’ youth and detests aging.  We fight aging or ‘growing old’ at every turn.  From our incessant habits of exercise, endless consumption of diet pills, to our multi-billion dollar industry of cosmetic surgery, one might easily surmise that we are infatuated with youth.  

Indeed many, if given the chance, would choose to be 17 again.

Continue reading “The United States of Uncle Rico (A Repost)”