St. Benedict and Longing

Last Friday at Vintage we talked about the search in which we live our lives. In particular, a quote from Frederick Buechner made me think a lot about how the world in which we live can become an excuse for not finding God if we let it. "The struggle to find others with whom we can share our lives, others who give our lives texture and color and meaning, has been going on forever. The task of finding work to do that is fulfilling and productive and sufficient for our needs has been constant. The need for rest and sustenance and time apart has been never-ending. Our hope and our yearning and our desire for God, and life lived with God, have been everlasting, from age to age. The world is not a simple place. It never really was."

I think our generation can easily be a little too proud of the fact that our technological age both makes our lives more difficult and strangely simpler than our parents' and grandparents' generations. While it certainly makes writing research papers more efficient, constantly being tied into a form of media is also exhausting. But Buechner's insight was a sobering reminder that navigating the world, and especially navigating the world as Christians, never was easy. It wasn't harder for our parents because they didn't have google - and it isn't necessarily easier for us because we do. In recognizing that what we are going through and the questions we are asking in terms of our faith are not novel, it becomes much easier to open up to humility. And I think it's this humility that yields balance - I want to find a way to balance everything within my work and within my faith search. But even more importantly, I want to find a way to balance all of the components. This sometimes seems daunting, but Benedict warns us, "Do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away from the road. It is bound to be narrow at the outset. But as we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God's commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love."