We have just had several of those drop-dead gorgeous days we get to experience in October. The mornings have been frosty, inviting me to snuggle under the covers just a few minutes longer. And as the morning has moved forward, the sun has warmed the air just enough. The bluest of skies dotted with a few wispy white clouds coaxes me outside.
The leaves are not yet at their peak of color but are starting to give hints of deeper orange and red to create anticipation in the midst of the yellows, browns, and pale orange hues. These are the days that slip by too quickly and I want to push back the darkness each night to savor just a few more hours of this grand display.
Too soon these days will bring rain and wind. In the blink of an eye the leaves will be stripped from their branches and the long season of barren looking trees will begin. I know that. So, savoring each day before this happens becomes a desire.
Too often our desires meet disappointment, disillusionment, or a dull sense of discontent. As a result, we might choose to deaden those desires that spring from somewhere deep inside us or we search for a way to soothe them causing us to chase what John Eldredge calls “less wild lovers”. These other things that we choose can ultimately lead us into habits and addictions fueling more disappointment and despair.
Somehow, we want more than life as usual. Life as usual doesn’t satisfy this nameless longing fueling our desire.
Perhaps it is that “divine discontent” that Chesterton speaks of in Orthodoxy, that sense that “we have come to the wrong star….We come from somewhere else. We have lost our way.”
C.S. Lewis speaks of our “lifelong nostalgia” to be reunited with our Creator.
In Into Abba’s Arms, Sandra Wilson wrote, “our souls harbor a deep, nameless knowing we were created for something far better, something unmistakably solid and enduring…ancient echoes of Eden.”
Could it be that on beautiful (nearly perfect) days like this in October, we get a momentary glimpse of that kind of beauty we were made to enjoy all the time?
But it isn’t so much the beauty that can satisfy our desire. The beauty points us to the true desire, the One who created the beauty, the One who whispers to us that we were made for something different, something more, something better than even this gloriously beautiful October day can give.
Perhaps that ache in the deepest part of us, that longing and desire in us, is a reminder that He has left as a candle flame to guide us back to Him, to help us find our way back home with Him.
Beauty somehow deepens the tug on our hearts even as other days of despair does. In both cases, we get a sense that something is missing. What we do with that longing and desire will make all the difference!
The longing and desire that we do not name might send us scurrying down side trails so we buy a new dress or other trinket we do not need. We indulge in a fictional romance novel. We drink an extra glass of wine or try to soothe it with a decadent chocolate treat. For the moment, these might mute the desire, but too soon the desire becomes louder again.
The better choice sends us looking for the One who created the desire. We find evidence of Him in heartfelt worship. We see Him in his story, The Word. Those point us to the better path, the true path.
Then when I sit in my favorite red leather chair and I reflect on Him just a few moments longer and let my words to Him pour out on the pages of my journal, I get just a little closer. It gives me a sense of being suspended between the earth and what will be one day a far more fulfilling closeness when nothing can obscure my vision of Him.
It is then that I see clearly what is lost, what is missing. It is what we lost in Eden.
But the desire He left planted within our hearts reminds us of the hope we have of a reunion with Him when every desire will once more be satisfied. Then we will truly be home where we were always created to live.