Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Psalm 63 Hunger and Thirst

When making a commitment to the spiritual journey and actively seeking God, we literally tap into the strong human craving to reconnect with Spirit (my soul clings to you). This basic need is frequently described as hunger and thirst. For all human beings this desire is present, and it is a basic compulsion in us all. Unfortunately, most of us do not understand that this underlying discontent that we all feel is a spiritual need. So we set off to placate the urge with things physical, emotional and mental. But these cannot quench the thirst; only the spiritual journey can do that. So we see many people in orgiastic relationships with sex, falling in love, money and intellectual theories. But at their core they remain discontented because they have not reached towards the heart of the problem. In all of us there is a core yearning that can only be satiated by spiritual enlightenment and a relationship with God.

This experience becomes even more intense once we commit our lives to God. It is an important part of the process of the building up of faith that the believer faces. And the ways in which we misdirect our hunger and thirst become more subtle and insidious. Typically we experience this when we are still struggling to surrender our personal will to Spirit’s will. It is a very difficult process and often takes many lessons to learn. Obstinacy is one of the thorny sins, because we are raised to believe that our will is ours to use to achieve our personal objectives. We do have control over it, but unless we serve Spirit with it, it is our lot in life to be malcontent.

Once we understand that this is a spiritual hunger and thirst, we must choose to take the time to find God in the “secret place” (sanctuary). It is through the journey with the Christ within that we are able to truly dedicate our lives to God. In that sanctum, we experience God’s steadfast love, which enables us to see beyond our own small life to the larger life of the Divine. When we become acutely aware of our connection to God, we find ourselves full as if we have eaten a great feast. In God’s hands, our souls sing for joy. Thoughts and feelings that are not life affirming (those who seek to destroy my life) lose authority in our lives. Allegorically, kings are aspects of the personal will. God fearing kings represent the personal will in service of Spirit. The psalm ends with: the king (the will) shall serve God and the mouths of liars (destructive beliefs) will be stopped. When we find ourselves in the chaos of the wilderness we must remember to readily surrender our will to the guidance of Spirit. Only then will we find true joy.

And so it is! Amen!