Images and Yearnings

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Yesterday after dropping my children off at school and having an impromptu dance party with them in the middle of the school parking lot (school’s almoooooost out for summah!) I drove away feeling so much relief that yet another school year is behind us and my heart felt a good dose of gratitude thinking about summer.  I LOVE my boys being home with me for the summer.  Love.

We sleep in, we snuggle in the morning, we build forts and have water fights.  We randomly pick a beach to head to on any given day complete with cooler in tow filled with the seasons best (local and organic!) fruits.  We make lists of things we want to do over the summer (bike ALL the way to the Clayburn candy store and climb a mountain top this years list!)  and we camp and eat s’mores and read stories aloud.  It is truly my favourite time of year.

As I was pulling out onto the main road after winding my way out of the little neighbourhood where their school lies a deer wandered out of the forest on one side of the road and slowly meandered its way across the road and into the woods on the other side.  I had to bring my truck to a complete stop to allow her to have her way in crossing.  She made no nevermind about it, like there was obviously flashing pedestrian crossing lights overhead and she had the right away.  There was an obvious path in the trees into which she entered like this may be her regular morning walk.  

As I watched her cross in front of me, such a large but seemingly gentle creature with a very elegant stride, a verse came to mind,

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”  

For the rest of that morning I couldn’t get this out of my head.  I envisioned this strong creature in a clearing on a hot day needing to satisfy it’s thirst.  I imagined a chase through the woods by a predator and once it finally felt the calm of safety, panting for cool and crisp water to quench it.  I haven’t seen a deer lapping at a river but I have seen other animals and the vigor with which they drink is quite something.

The  psalmist left me questioning myself.  It is no doubt that they chose this imagery to show us the desire with which we are to yearn for God.  But do I?  Most certainly not.  I want to want God this much.  I want my soul to be panting for him, to know that he is the only thing that can satisfy, the only thing that can quench, the respite after a chase and the fuel that keeps me alive.  I want this.  I do.  But is it the truth for me?  Sadly, no.

I live in a time where we can so easily secure our own well being.  A stable country, with dental benefits and the option of RRSP’s we can so quickly assume that we are ensuring our future well-being.  But where is God in this?  My thoughts immediately before seeing this deer were about the luxuries of a summer, I thought, well spent.  But was serving my Saviour even a thought in my mind?

I have been through seasons in life where I, quite literally, could not place my feet on the floor in the morning without crying out to God to give me this day my daily bread.  But when trials cease and he grants us ease this crying out also flees.

How I long to say as the psalmist that my soul pants for Him.  That I desire nothing but Him.  These are strong words and require more than the thought, “yeah, that’s what I want.”  But is a yearning deep within.  The Psalmist knew something of God that I don’t and I want to know it, to feel it, to understand that my life is but a vapour and my soul requires nothing but the Almighty.

Teach me.


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