Sunday, 5 February 2017


"You could not discover the limits of the soul, not if you were to travel down every road. Such is the depths of its form".  Heraclitus.

"My soul thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land, where there is no water"  Psalm 63:1.

Reading through some on-line materials this weekend, I came across a quote from the Generation X novel, Girlfriend in a Coma that is really worth noting:

"There’s a hardness I’m seeing in modern people. Those little moments of goofiness that used to make the day pass seem to have gone. […] I mean, nobody even has hobbies these days. Not that I can see. Husbands and wives both work. Kids are farmed out to schools and video games. Nobody seems to be able to endure simply being by themselves, either—but at the same time they’re isolated. People work much more, only to go home and surf the Internet and send e-mail rather than calling or writing a note or visiting each other. They work, watch TV, and sleep. I see these things. The whole world is only about work: work work work get get get . . . racing ahead . . . getting sacked from work . . . going online . . . knowing computer languages . . . winning contracts. I mean, it’s just not what I would have imagined the world might be if you’d asked me seventeen years ago. People are frazzled and angry, desperate about money, and, at best, indifferent to the future […]
So you ask me how do I feel? I feel lazy. And slow. And antique. And I’m scared of all these machines. I shouldn’t be, but I am. I’m not sure I completely like the new world".
The New Testament tells us that one of the great troubles of our times will be a lack of purely natural affection - genuine appreciation for ourselves, for others, and things that matter purely because they resonate deeply - that is the inner inertia that the novel's writer has evidenced (hence, the initial observation).  Like some one-dimensional facsimile, we've become cut away from almost everything bar the transitory and immediate. It's telling - what is imperative in this exhausting routine - the 'must' of virtual activity (rather than genuine, shared recreation), of keeping a job (instead of having a rich, fulfilling career) and never truly loosing yourself to something greater, because being 'alone' (gaining real identity) is a chilling prospect.
"It's making no sense, But we'll stay here till the end
This time"
(Racing Cars - They Shoot Horses, Don't They?).

The present, then, hauntingly resembles some sanctioned post-war social construction - necessary, utilitarian, but inherently devoid of any true "place".
Is it any wonder that the notion of owning a soul has become something arcane and absurd, and yet, Jesus informs us that this ignored core of existence is of far greater value than the gaining of anything (and everything) else (Mark 8:36).

We still chase the illusion that enough money or power or sex will make us someone, but as stated so well by Bud Fox in the movie Wall Street, gaining it merely brings us to a place where we find ourselves asking amidst emptiness, 'Who am I?'
We have to discover it's often pursuing not what we want, but what we need that will make us whole.
It may be vogue today to mask or deflect from the true, the good, and the beautiful, but every once and a while we still find ourselves stilled by something that generates an echo deep inside our hungry soul - the voice that whispers, "there's so much more than me". David knew that longing when he wrote the psalms, and wisely understood the only place where such appetites could be fully and eternally satisfied were within God meeting our greatest need.
God has done so in His beloved Son (John 3:16).
The true purpose of anything really of value in this life is to re-clothe us in an awareness of what we really are - more than just a collection of dulled moments and pointless sensations. We were made to truly be enriched by a love far higher than the stars and deeper than the oceans, and that has been brought to us in Jesus Christ...

to bring us home again.

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