LongingNew Every Morning | January 27, 2023
Whatever you do, don’t try to manufacture a longing. Don’t leave thinking you heard that you “should” long for God, and then try harder. A longing for God is not something you can produce; there’s no instructional YouTube video to show you how to get it right. If there were, the danger would be that you would succeed and show off your longing for God as something to be proud of, maybe something that someone—or better yet, God—would give you a special plaque for.
—L. Roger Owens, Everyday Contemplative: The Way of Prayerful Living (Upper Room Books, 2022)
How do you respond when you notice in yourself a longing for God or an absence of longing for God? Join the conversation.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
—Psalm 42:2, NRSV
Prayer for the Week
Nurturing God, tend our whole lives like a patient gardener. May our desire for you grow as grace works the soil of our lives. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Enjoying this week’s reflections? Learn more about how to use Everyday Contemplative as a guide for the season of Lent by joining our free webinar with author Roger Owens on Monday, January 30, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. (CT). Register here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
The longing for God comes naturally, it’s instilled in us and develops as we grow spiritually.
Off to ski and snowshoe today beneath Mount Washington at Bretton Woods. A long awaited day has arrived. Had an inspiration last night and that helped me finish the message with a little touch of me in a message written by someone far better than me at message preparation. Hope to catch up with you on Saturday. You are all in my prayers. Thank You. Lord for the blessings of the day.
I read the Bible or the Upper Room Disciplines BEFORE I do anything else, such as cleaning up after breakfast or getting ready for the day. Social media and computers make it so easy to get distracted from disciplines.
This makes me think of Psalm 42:1…as the deer pants for water, so my soul longeth after You. I wish I could be “deer-like”. Am I ever that desperate, consumed by my need for God? And, I think I agree with the author – I can’t conjure this up. This desire waxes and wanes – but even when I am aware of it – I wouldn’t say I am panting. Sure – I can listen to a few specific worship songs to help me focus, I can turn to a beloved passage or two and try to immerse myself in focused concentration. But I feel so far from what Brother Lawrence describes as “practicing the presence of God”.
Had a nice conversation with my tennis friend last evening and we made plans for an early dinner towards to the end of next week. I haven’t seen her since we went to the hope and remembrance service in early December.
Dad is enjoying taking his sister around where he lives, showing her why he loves it there so much. It is a bit cooler than usual there, but still a good deal of sunshine and brightness. Becky and Don head back on Monday afternoon. I will be taking dinner to them tomorrow evening and visiting a bit, before my god son’s basketball game.
This is interesting because I have been sensing a longing in me for some time. Lately, I have been delving into aa book I have had for many years but never opened. It provides background and historical information on the Bible. As I read each week’s Bible study passages I read the applicable sections of this book. I have gained knowledge by leaps and bounds.
H is getting worse day by day. Robert, the stare I mentioned is not the clinical stare of a dementia patient but just a normal stare of someone who is bored and starng into space or out a window. He now believes that I work “across the street” and somehow force him to join me. We live in a plan of single family houses. The building across the street is a home with a couple and their children living there. I have never been in the house since they moved in many years ago. He sometimes becomes agitated regarding his belief. He ignores me when I try to explain. Also now he is confused in the morning and doesn’t know what to do and this morning thought we were leaving and he had to hurry to get his shower. Sometimes I feel that I am living in the Twilight Zone.