Gasping for God…


There’s a story about a young man who came to Socrates in his quest for wisdom. The great philosopher told the young man to follow him, which the lad did submissively. Together the two men walked through town to the edge of the ocean, then continued their way into waist-deep water. Socrates stopped, but he instructed the young man to continue walking. Obediently the lad continued walking, looking back occasionally for reassurance he was doing it the way the teacher wanted him to do it.

Soon the young man was submersed beneath the water’s surface. Intent on following the instruction of the master, he stayed under for as long as he possibly could. His mind was racing to understand the lesson. Finally he burst from the water, gasping for a breath of air. He was agitated and perplexed by what seemed to be a mockery of his quest. But the lesson was simple. “You will find wisdom,” Socrates reassured him, “when you crave it as much as you did a breath of air.”

We know how to crave. We do it all the time. But we crave the things that satisfy our second nature. Things like being happy, for instance, or an addiction to sports, or a love relationship with Mammon. Cravings of the flesh squeeze the life out of our relationship with God and with our family and friends. Yet we feed our craving . . . (un)naturally.

What will cause us to crave life the way we crave entertainment and our comfort and looking good? What will make us crave life the way the young student craved a gulp of oxygen? What will compel us to pore through the Scriptures with a fervent desire to find our daily connection with our Creator? Usually the craving for a deeper life in God is the result of some kind of disruption in our lives. We need something to awaken us from our slumber. We need something to pinch off our air supply of self-sufficiency.

(Excerpt from Holy Libido, to be published by WinePress)

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