Waiting (for God)

Waiting, it seems to me, is a defining characteristic of the spiritual life. In my mid-twenties, I rediscovered God and eagerly adopted the opening verse of Psalm 63 as a recurring prayer.

“Oh God, you are my God whom I seek; for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.”

These words gave/give authentic voice to an aching for God in my heart that has yet to be fully satisfied. Still today, in prayer or simply in quiet moments, I echo the Psalmist’s words, and I wait.

In my early fifties, I endured a prolonged and, frankly, demoralizing period of spiritual darkness. While in the midst, I repeatedly called out to God for even a pinpoint of light to sustain me, but all that came was this familiar ache.

On the other side of that wrenching experience, I shared the details with my spiritual director. In frustration, I asked him why God had withheld consolation for so long. In his wise way, he quietly asked: “Have you ever considered that the aching in your heart was your pinpoint of light?”

Since that exchange, I have come to view the ache as my companion on the journey. Now, we wait together.

10 thoughts on “Waiting (for God)

    1. sdalton43 Post author

      Indeed, Janet. This is just one example, but I think it demonstrates the value of spiritual direction. It has benefited me greatly. Blessings, dear friend! And, love to John!

      Reply
  1. Sharon R Chace

    Steve,

    My response also applies to your posting around Thanksgiving time. Sometime around 1974, a psychiatrist who my husband consulted send him home with a message for me. In essence, “Life can be balanced over a lifetime, not just a day.” Seems like a similar idea to me as the Ignatian concept of desolation and consolation. So I do hope you have continual consolations in your present life after a time of dryness and finding your best job or your best job finding you. For me my books are a relatively late life achievement balancing out the years of being wife and mother without a great deal of help. Now at age 73, I am the new Poet Laureate of Rockport! You may share this if you wish. I just do better with e-mails than with response forms.

    Kind Regards, Sharon Sharon R. Chace MTS, WJST 98

    Reply
    1. sdalton43 Post author

      Hi, Sharon! It’s always a blessing to hear from you. Congratulations on being recognized as the Poet Laureate of Rockport. That’s quite an honor – and well-deserved! I am very happy (i.e., consoled) in my new position, but, thanks to our mutual friend, Ignatius, I also know to expect times of desolation. Spiritual direction helps keep me in balance. Writing does as well, when I have the time. I hope you continue to draw inspiration for your noble work from our beautiful world. Blessings always, Steve

      Reply
  2. Pingback: “… and I wish we could be friends.” | Musings Amid the Thorns

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