12.26.2013

Seeking Understanding

Today, I've had time to sit and think. This is a rare occurrence.

Being at college prevents me from being able to simply think. I'm constantly absorbing information from class, books, and the people around me. I was talking to a good friend after finals and he said, "I want to just be able to sit and think on my own for a year." That statement made me think, wait no I think on my own all the time interpreting the information around me. It's been so good to be alone in a room without trying to understand someone else's theory or idea. I can think on my own. I can think about Jesus and my life. So this is what I was thinking:

I have been waiting and hoping for worldly treasures lately. First of all, I have been desiring a relationship. Any relationship. I want to be close to someone. I want someone to know me deeply and be able to understand me completely.

I sound like a selfish, hormonal teenager when I think like that.

But you know what? It's not possible. No one on earth will ever understand who I am to the fullest. There are people that know me well, but they will never fill the gap that the Lord is supposed to fill. One of man's deepest desires is to be intimate spiritually, emotionally, and physically with someone. It is natural for me to desire this, but when I start looking for intimacy in the wrong places my heart becomes weary because those places are never fulfilling. I exhibit a lack of faith when I decide to make that intimacy happen with someone that can not fill the gap. 

A lack of faith. So what exactly should I have faith for?

I should have faith that the Lord has promised deep intimacy with Him. I can walk with and talk to Him about anything and everything because He already knows me

Being understood and feeling understood are two different experiences. Feeling understood is like when you have dinner with your best friend and begin to tell them a story or how you felt about something that happened in your life, and you stop mid-sentence out of a lack for words while they just say, "Yeah, I understand what you're saying." Then, they proceed to finish your sentence with how you feel and say it 10 times better than you ever would. Then you're left with this huge sigh of relief knowing that someone out there understands what you are going through. This is one of the most comforting experiences to have.

So now I'm thinking, I want to not only be understood but feel understood by those around me. Then the Lord reminded me of the Prayer of St. Francis.
Oh Lord, grant that I seek not
To be consoled, but to console
Not to be understood, but to understand
Not to be loved, but to love
For it is in giving that we receive
In forgiving that we are forgiven
In pardoning that we are pardoned
And in dying that we're born to eternal life.

Lemme just say: #humility.
It's not my job to force an intimate relationship with someone so I can feel understood completely, it's my job to seek to understand others. It's my joy to love others with love from the Father even when it's really hard. I have faith that Jesus wants my relationships and friendships to be enriched because I am giving instead of always taking.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me the opportunity to love. Thank You for giving me wonderful people in my life that grow me and challenge me. Continue to humble me and show me how You have provided each day.