February 2, 2015–Make Me Desire as You Desire

~by Louis Templeman

For a couple of years now I have been worrying that I may have Parkinson’s. In two weeks I see the Neurologist. There is little doubt she will confirm my dread. In the face of this I feel like growing weary and losing heart. The usual Bible verses that speak of such sorrows and challenges to faith clue me into the truth that trouble is one of the basic pavers on the road of life.

Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12: 3

Scripture, as well as our own experience, indicates the natural movement in the life of faith is to relax and grow weary and lose heart. To do so is easy. Just let go and let inertia take over.

My soul lies in the dust; by your word revive me. . . . My soul pines away with grief; by your word raise me up. . . . I bind myself to do your will; Lord, do not disappoint me. Psalm 119: 25 – 32.

“Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God’?” Isaiah 40: 27.

To pray is to invite honesty. To pray is to invite the presence of God whose strengths overwhelm our weakness and whose honesty exposes our disingenuousness. To pray is to drag our darkness into the take-your-breath-away brightness of God/truth/health. To pray is to expose your pride to correction. To pray is to expose your impatience to waiting in silence. It is to risk misunderstanding, chastening, and all the embarrassments that clog the pathways of lovers. Remember the bucolic lyric, “Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough to keep me away from you”? This is the sentiment of prayer spoken in the euphoria of intoxication, the moments of newness when consummation appears imminent and sure. Nevertheless, even in the blindness of new love the threat of mountains and valleys is there.

Love is risk. Prayer is risk. Prayer, if not born of love, is a motion towards love. Prayer is the risk of losing control. Prayer that changes the supplicant accepts vulnerability and the giving over of control and management to Another. Prayer is to stand outside of yourself and to abandon yourself to uncertainty.

The typical personality struggles to maintain an imagined autonomy. Few feelings are more luxurious than pride. Especially a pride that is secure in grand arguments, certificates, diplomas, recommendations and even the bombast of an insecure heart that holds no greater skill than to pitch one’s own unfounded competence. This pride, as well as many other human impediments, must be wrestled with by means of prayer. We are weak; we need strength. We are confused; we need comfort. We are confounded; we need to know we are not alone. We need, ultimately, to connect with our maker. That connection will not be effected by our design or our supervision. It will not come through our pride but rather in the cry of our distress.

Prayer is strong when we desire as God desires; when we are too little to even be left alone with the smallest details of our lives. Only then do we begin the journey of a life that is lit by the fire of God’s presence.

“More than ever, I understand that the smallest events of our life are conducted by God; He is the One who makes us desire and who grants our desires.” St. Therese of Lisieux.

Make me desire as you desire, may my feet walk by the light of your fire.

Until every little thing, every little thing I do . . . is attended by you.

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Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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