There was a time when I used to think, ‘I hope Jesus comes back… but not until…’ and then I’d fill in the blank with something I really hoped to do in this life. That seems like a long time ago now. Somewhere along the way over these 30 years I have realized that the joys of this life (even the pure and the good ones) are mere shadows of the reality for which we were created.

Everything here is a shadow, a testimony, a teaser, pointing us to the greater reality of unfettered freedom and unadulterated pleasure in uncompromisingly personal relationship with the one who created us for himself. We were not created for this broken world. Everything here that gives joy points us forward to the fulfilment of that longing on the day when we will fully know, even as we are fully known.

Mountains, oceans, valleys, magnificent animals, music, poetry, the climax of a narrative, the unfolding of a mystery, the moment of learning, relationships, husbandry, fatherhood, church membership, passing seasons of beautiful intimacy with brothers and sisters in Christ, intangible and inexpressible moments of close communion with the Triune God; all of it has functioned to one end: to create in me the birth of longing. Longing for the day when it will not end. Longing for the day when the feeling won’t pass the very moment you realize it’s there. Longing for the uninterrupted gaze and the unending contemplation of the One who is Beauty and Wisdom and Joy and Life.

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”
— C.S. Lewis (Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold)

Cottage Sunset

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** This is written as part of the series 30 for 30: Reflections on Life at My 30th Birthday **