In today’s devotional entry, Wiltschek asks, “What do you yearn for?”
I receive many shopping catalogs in the mail. Too often, I think that there’s something in them that I want. But wanting and yearning are different levels of desire. Yearning is more intense. The application of the terms is different, too. What I want are things, but what I yearn for are intangibles.
At this time of year (and especially after this past weekend’s snowstorm), I long for signs of spring–birdsong, warmer temperatures, azure skies, the colors of flowers popping up from the grey, brown, frosty soil, even the scent of the earth ready for exciting new life. I guess that kind of longing can be called a yearning, but it’s a very passive desire. There’s nothing I can do to make spring come.
As the news is so heavy, fraught with violence and distrust, I long for peace and restoration. I am praying and have written to leaders. Again, though, I feel I am waiting for something to come.
Yearning can be more active than only waiting. What are we putting our hearts and efforts into, hoping for, praying for, working toward? What occupies our thoughts and actions, as if we are being tugged toward it? Is our desire for a rich relationship with God burning with the intensity of yearning?
It seems that our hearts turn to God with more fervor when we are in a crisis. I wonder how different our lives would be if our yearnings were for a closer relationship with God–without the need for prompting from a crisis.