Saturday, August 04, 2007

Longing. Hungering and Thirsting. Wanting more.

In the post-vacation avalanche of mail that awaited us was a Christianity Today magazine with an intriguing article on "hungering and thirsting" that caught my eye. Matthew 5:6 teaches "blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." It seems that hunger and thirst are strong metaphors in the Christian walk, which goes will with the emphasis on fasting throughout the Bible. Anyone who has seen me knows that I am not a natural faster. I have to work at it, and don't always see the joy in it. But I do it as the Lord instructs, and it has benefited me.

There is a world around us hungering and thirsting for many things, including righteousness. The world attempts to slake this thirst in many ways. Alcohol, sex, drugs, money, power, busyness, work, other people, etc. There are countless ways to fill Decartes' "God-shaped hole" in us, and we are all trying. Some are trying to fill that hole with God. Others are trying to do it with a form of religion, such as works, trying harder, or other ways that do not rely on the grace and power of God.

The U2 song "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" expresses that thought well. They are striving for God, but it seems like they are doing it in their own strength, which will end in disappointment. It's so easy to say that Jesus is what we are looking for, and that is true. I believe we need to condition our hearts to properly search. We don't need to do more, but rely more. And that is tough, especially in the United States with the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" mentality. Our spiritual formation emphasis should be on growing closer to the Lord, which takes time. Many of us (hear me speaking of myself here) try to rush the process and devote X chapters of reading and X minutes of prayer as if it were formulaic. It isn't. Take it from a pilgrim who has slammed into that wall many times. Take time to practice solitude and rest in the Lord. Listen more and talk less in prayer time. I wish I had done that many years ago.

Here are the lyrics and a YouTube link to the video, which appears to have been shot in Las Vegas. A place where so many try vainly to satisfy their longings. Sorry I can't embed the video for you.

I have climbed highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I have kissed hardened lips
Felt the healing fingertips
It burned like a fire
This burning desire

I have spoken with eternal angels
I have held the hands of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I believe in the Kingdom Come
When all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well, yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds
And you loosened the chains
Carried the cross
Of all my shame
all my shame
You know I believe it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for


Tim Bail said...

Hi Roy, Nice article, about the brige falling I have a trucker buddy who when over the bridge 35 minuties before it went down and he was freeking out. We was all teasing him as he's about 450 lbs that because he was on the brigde is why it went down but he a good sport. He is just very nervise about crossing other bridges now. Talk to ya latter. Tim

john rister said...

I watched the video and I started to think about all the people in the background and why most of them are in Vegas. Most are looking for something in life and that unfortunately is a sad place to find it.
You and I have found what every person needs to fill that empty void in thier life. Jesus! This song sent a message to me that there is a lot more out there to experience and search for. God is a living God and he lives in us through us and we too have much to learn and search for in our daily life with Him. I still haven't experienced all that I'm looking for. Thanks for the video.

Marcus Satellite said...

Hi Roy,

I love that song by U2, so much in fact that I covered it on my album "The Marcus Satellite Tribute to U2". It's a beautiful version of a beautiful song. Hope you like it.