What are you missing in this COVID-19 time of curfews and restrictions?
A graduation? Wedding? Funeral? Prom? A paycheck? Relationships? A scheduled vacation?
It’s easy to think about missing the things we had as routine parts of our life. Or joyful events that we were anticipating.
What about the things you never had … or ever anticipated having? Things that felt beyond your grasp. Or even beyond your desire. Things that now you seem to be “missing” in the empty and quiet spaces in your soul.
Many are feeling the loss of missing things quite keenly these days.
Peter Kreeft in his book, Heaven, The Heart’s Deepest Longing, draws our attention to the places of strange and unnamed desires that exist within all of us:
Augustine uses a little thought-experiment…. He says: Imagine God appeared to you and said he would make a deal with you, that he would give you everything you wished, everything your heart desired, except one. You could have anything you imagine, nothing would be impossible for you, and nothing would be sinful or forbidden. “But,” God concluded, “you shall never see my face.” Why, Augustine asks, did a terrible chill creep over your heart at those last words?
There is within each of us a desire for something “more.” A something that is missing. A something that no things and no relationships seem to fill. Augustine’s experiment reveals how our hearts initially might respond to the idea of having all of our named-needs met. We might even find ourselves dreaming for a moment about what that would be like. About having everything we could think of. But then Augustine follows up with the question that grips us: what if the cost is never seeing the face of God?
Our very visceral response tells us there is a much deeper longing going on within us than just a replacement of our “missing things.” Or for a fulfillment of our dreams.
Augustine goes on to say that if “you wouldn’t accept the deal, you really love God above all things, for look what you just did: you gave up the whole world, and more, for God.”
ACTION: What are you missing today? What did you notice in your body, mind, and heart as you read Augustine’s “you shall never see my face”? Read Psalm 42:1-2 and Psalm 143:6. What are you longing for from God today? Bravely express those deepest longings to Him.