from the fount of living water, his soul felt parched and but life is also more than we expected. We find ourselves dry, and he cried out. Nothing would content him but the trembling with fear and hope at the possibility of New presence of God. O, to have the most intense craving after Life. And for a moment, we feel complete and realize that the highest good! we have never yet been complete. Our heart begins to (Selah) The Psalmist paused, for his heart was strained hunger for more than food, to thirst for more than drink. to the point of agony. He needed to rest before pressing As we commit ourselves to pursuing self-knowledge, onward once again. But the and as our hunger for God awakens, the Good News is presence of God was an urthat we become more real. gent need of his soul, an abWe stop projecting our feelsolute necessity, not merely ings onto others; we start the sweetest of luxuries. claiming them as our own. Like the parched traveler We begin to see – sometimes in the wilderness who finds with disturbing clarity – our his waterskin empty and the pride, our jealousy, our comwells dry, the Psalmist could parisons, our manipulations. not afford delay. Every moment mattered. His life was We discover our fears of beebbing out; he was reduced ing alone and abandoned, to despair. And so his cry inof loving and being loved by tensified: “Answer me quickothers, of being sexual and ly, O LORD! My spirit fails!” spiritual persons. We begin to acknowledge who we truly Like the Psalmist, those are, and we eventually gain who desire to (re)awaken the courage to say before their hunger for God must God, “I recognize what I am, first recognize their present and I am none other than condition. Life may be fine, what I am. Whatever needs maybe even good. We may to be done in my life, you will feel secure because things have to do.” We must not make sense. We might occahold onto anything within sionally suspect that somehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/audreygrace/3157093336/ ourselves. We must realize thing is amiss – a vague sense of dis-ease, another person who seems more com- that we have nothing, that we are utterly helpless, that plete (more shalom?) – but we remain mostly unaware someone else must come and take hold of us. God waits that more awaits us. Eventually something(s) happens, patiently for those words; He then reveals who we are though, that we cannot dismiss or ignore. A turning point truly meant to be. We should not come to the conclusion, however, that is reached. We begin listening to our more-than-tired exhaustion and our longings for more-than-physical com- we have nothing to do. Those who truly desire something fort. We discover that life is not as good as we imagined; always reveal some evidence of that desire. They do not wait passively for something to happen. They voluntarily and deliberately remind themselves of their desire. Hunger for God seems to awaken in certain places, and those who hunger never miss an opportunity to be present in those places. We must respond to what we have already seen, then, and order our life to better reflect the priority
“We discover that life is not as good as we imagined; but life is also more than we expected.”
The Williams Telos
Fall 2012 issue of The Williams College Telos. Theme: Hunger.