CS Lewis, in his book “Surprised by Joy” identifies the longing that makes us human. That longing, says he, is proof that God exists. We, at our root, know there is something more than what our senses can perceive, that science can measure, more than the physical manifestation of our earth, our universe as defined by time and space and matter.
Lewis says a whole lot more than this, but in Ireland, on the High Street in Galway, in 2000, I chanced into a bookstore and was intrigued by the title of this book and bought it. This notion transformed my idea of my faith, my Catholicism and my understanding of the human quest for satisfaction of this longing. No earthly goal attained, no possession, no person, no knowledge, no power over an earthly realm, can satisfy that longing forever. We feel it as desire. But upon attaining what we desire, we continue to look for more. This is the quest for God, for heaven. This quest is the joy of life.
Maybe at Christmas time, as we wait for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, it is good to reflect upon this. Joy is in the longing. The birth of Christ was to be the fulfillment of a promise…the end of so much waiting by the Hebrews. This child was a gift of love. Love is what Jesus Christ preached when he became a man. In today’s world of turmoil, it is ever so important to remember this, live it, share it. Let’s not let earthly longing interfere with its purity. I believe that quest for more on earth, that quest for power, possessions, money is our mistaken attempt to fulfill that internal, eternal longing for that which we cannot fully know. Our destruction of so much of the creation of which we are part is the result of our divergence from this joyful part of us. No matter what our mind tells us is God, in what form or in no form, if we don’t stop our power to destroy (in our frustrated search for fulfillment of our innate longing), this great experiment in love that this universe is may just fail and cease to exist.
All this because I wrote this poem…
Time is our chrysalis
We cannot live outside of time
No matter how much our souls know
How to exist in that beyond.
We tick our time in increments,
In foolishness we conjure the
a fold in time to leap interminable seconds
So longing will cease.
How would it be if we skipped the waiting?
Fast forward past the pain, the loss, the steps
That earn us that next
Of our ceaseless anticipation of what our
Its intoxicating pleasure.
Time is our chrysalis
Inside of all these minutes, hours, days,
They whisper through our sighs,
Incubators to prepare us for the savor.