Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Thirstings of My Heart

On Friday night, my spiritual director (Father John) lead myself and a handful of young adults in a reflection about what we thirst for in life.

He asked us to prioritize a list of items, and so I'd like to share with you, dear reader, the thirstings of my heart. 

I have taken the liberty of removing "happiness" and "peace" from the list because I believe these all-encompassing emotions stand apart from the others, for they are achieved through the reception of the others, not independently of them.

This, then, is the order in which I put the remaining items:

1. love
2. a family
3. knowledge
4. friendships
5. respect
6. excitement
7. material possessions
8. a sense of accomplishment
9. independence
10. fame
11. power
12. faith

Notice that these items are not ranked by value; they are ranked by what I detect as a gaping hole in my life, as compared to that which I feel filled with or need little of.

My heart thirsts presently because of these voids which ache to be filled:  (1) giving and receiving love, shared between my future husband, God, and myself, and (2) the blessing of our future family and the love shared there within.

I ranked "knowledge" above "friendships," not because I value knowledge more than friendship, but because I feel blessed already with many friends, and thus my heart does not ache for them as it does for the knowledge of God and His will for me.

But "friendships" did make it high on my list because I desire more permanent, ever-lasting friendships, the kind that I can invest in every day and the kind that will stick with me for life.  Right now, the faces to whom I turn for friendship seem to be ever-changing, and this worries me sometimes and rattles me a bit to my core, although I guess this is the result of making new friends and having the blessing of a lot of them. 

My mother assures me that this is typical of (and even right for) a girl in this phase of life.  I need to learn to not wish away this phase of my life and instead savor every moment of it before it is over.

This I realized rather acutely the other night, when Macy and I departed for our nighttime walk.  I looked at the profile of my little square house, the contours of the grass in my backyard, the twinkling stars overhead, and beautiful golden retriever that was walking before me.  I knew that when we got back from our walk, there would be iced tea in the 'fridge and a chat to continue on Facebook.  And then I would toss a tennis ball upstairs and watch Macy roll around on my Dressing Room carpet.  I'd try to do a load of laundry before bed so that I'd have something fun to wear to school the next day.  And my morning commute would only be 2 minutes, and then I would be in my beautifully new classroom, my teacher desk adorned with fun little things that I love to look at each day.  And there I would see the faces of my students, all them so eager to talk with me, it seems.

This is my life, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I thanked God in that moment for giving me the grace to fully embrace it.

I put "faith" last on the list because I feel thankful to already be blessed by (comparitively) an over abundance of it.  However, I now regret putting it last.  I thirst every single day for more faith and the discernment of His will, and so perhaps it should be moved up to the top, right along side love.

Faith is an expression of love, is it not?  It is our expression of the love of God.  And if God is Love, are they not one in the same or at least so beautifully intertwined that they cannot at all be separated?

These are the thirstings of my heart.  Thank you for letting me share.  And yet St. Paul tells us that our hearts will not be fully satisfied until Heaven.