Monday, October 25, 2010

Some Quick Thoughts after Grocery Shopping

I like grocery shopping. Really I do. As long as I can do it by myself and it can be sort of a meditative experience, that is. I like reading labels and bargain hunting and all that. It's fun.

One of the things I find myself heightenedly aware of is the music playing overhead. I wonder what it says about the demographic expectations of shoppers in the store at that point. Either Kroger always plays 60s and 70s music, or I'm just in there when the store expects baby boomers. Probably the latter.

Last week I noticed a lady singing happily along with "The Wedding Song," completely uncaring of whether people were listening to her or not. I like that.

Today I had another thought. This song started playing:

which I think is one of the most depressing songs I have ever loved. It is all about a man who find life absolutely unlivable without his love who has walked out of his life.

And it struck me as true and self-evident: all of our desires, all of the longings in our hearts, everything that moves us is ultimately a desire for God. Whether it is a desire for another person, a desire for glory, power, money, attention, accomplishment, simple relief, a good tasting meal, distraction, even irritation, or anything to interrupt the monotony or pain of life, or the complete lack of feeling -- it is all, ultimately a desire for God. It doesn't always look that way because impurity clogs the vision of our desire, and we think we are scratching with our toes in the dirt instead of mining the deepest riches of existence. But it is all a desire for God.

Nilsson sings plaintively because in his mind, that which he longs for is unattainable. And not only in his mind, apparently; the reality of the relationship bears out that he is "without" this love. Yet, he is still living, biologically at least. The longing in his heart points to something else. There is a "living" he wants that he cannot have without.... his longing fulfilled. Yet I suppose there are other songs written about people who attained the sought-after love, only to find that neither did that bring them ultimate satisfaction.

We are made for the Infinite. Only God satisfies. The joyful news is relationship with that one is attainable. When we call out to Him, watch for Him, listen for Him (with humility), we will find that He has been pursuing us all along, and it is our impurity of heart that makes it difficult to see that reality.

"We live our lives by philosophies, amid worldly affairs and occupations that totally absorb us and are a great distance from the manger. In all kinds of ways, God has to prod us and reach out to us again and again, so that we can manage to escape from the muddle of our thoughts and activities and discover the way that leads to him. But a path exists for all of us. The Lord provides everyone with tailor-made signals." Pope Benedict XVI

1 comment:

Sara Sullivan said...

Thank you for this post -- beautiful! I love what the Pope says about "tailor-made signals". All of my kids are out of the house for a few hours, and I am going to noon Mass. I will pray for you and your intentions in thanksgiving for the way this post made my heart larger. I too see the longing for God in everyone. We have been given such a gift in this. I think so many steer clear of Mother Church because they feel, as teenagers sometimes do, that they will receive anger and condemnation....more later, your Georgia sis' in Christ Jesus, Sara