What is Your Yearning?
I want to reflect on a word I introduced to (you) this advent as we prepared for Christmas. It is the word yearning. Yearning is not a word often used these days. It’s probably a word like trivial… Anyone under 20 would have no idea what it means. Yearning is about an intense longing or eagerness for something. There is at Christmas plenty of what I would call Lite yearning…. Wanting or wishing are not yearnings. Christmas is full of wishing and wanting but most of it is about trivial stuff made in China.
Full strength yearning is a deeply religious word. But I want to digress…
I think God is found in our yearning. True yearning comes from deep within, from our soul. If you are in touch with your yearning you’ll be in touch with why God breathed life into you.
People often talk of Jesus as a great moral teacher. I think he was, and I think we need to heed his moral teaching, but one of the profound truths he brought in to the world was a valuing of our humanity. As Christians we claim God was in Jesus yet the stories of his birth make it clear he was very human. A baby born in a poor house and put in some hay for a bed. It’s raw living. It says it is deep within our humanity that God is found.
We often picture God, if we picture god at all as something or someone out there somewhere, but what if God is deep within us as human beings. I think Jesus affirms that idea. Our humanity is not alien to God but is somehow soaked in god like the trifle you may eat at lunchtime is soaked in sherry.
I think in each of us there is a calling, a yearning,, a way of being, a gift that we bring into the world. I sometimes call it a soul dream. It’s usually apparent even as a youngster, but often we only see that much later in our lives as we get more in touch with this yearning. I think God is found in our yearning. True yearning comes from deep within, from our soul. If you are in touch with your yearning you’ll be in touch with why God breathed life into you.
So I have an invitation to you this Christmas as you unwarp gifts…. Take time to unwrap the gift of yourself over the next few weeks. Take time to be more aware of your yearning. Jesus calls us to be more authentic, more us. We are as human beings God breathed but we need more silence and stillness to discover that… more conversations with others about our deep yearning. We need to look for the deep yearning in our children and see if we can’t nurture that.
Beware though, if you start digging within it will bring you close to God and that could be scary and it certainly will be risky and challenging. It will also be fulfilling. I think we’ve had enough of saying our lives are about making money, endless activity and busyness…having freedom to do what we want…. We need authenticity and listening for the God voice of yearning deep within. And a final word….our yearning is often not clearly defined. It’s not usually reduced to a simple statement, but the best we manage is often to say’ “it has something to do with…..” “Something to do with”, is a good place to start.
May God bless your yearning.
Dugald Wilson Christmas Day 2018