Yearning, longing for something not quite attainable.
Yearning for Bardsey. In 2011 I went on holiday to the Lleyn peninsula with my spouse and my daughter. Like many tourists/pilgrims before us we followed the old pilgrim route along the north coast of the peninsula, stopping at various churches on the way and visiting lots of holy wells. We ended at Aberdaron at the tip of the peninsula, and looked out to Bardsey Island. We telephoned the Bardsey boatman three days running, but the tides and sea conditions were not safe, and so we, like so many before us, could only yearn to go to Bardsey. It looks so tranquil and near at hand from the shore.
In a more spiritual sense what I am yearning for? Those of us who are involved with more than one religious tradition are often accused of cherry-picking, only taking the pleasant bits from each tradition and not do the hard bits. Or of rushing round seeking spiritual highs all over the place. And yet the spiritual high, the awareness of being in the Presence, or just of being truly present in the present moment, isn’t achieved by rushing around, or even by trying hard. It’s there, right at hand. I need to just stop, just be, and be aware that I’m in the Kingdom, in the moment. Then maybe I stop yearning.
While musing on quite what to write in my blog this week, I also received this, from ‘Fresh from the Word: the Bible for a change’:
“Does the passage in which Moses meets God in the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6) suggest that God had been there some time? Do you think God was waiting, longing perhaps, for someone, anyone, to stop, go over, and look at the wonderful sight? God may have lit the bush hours, days, weeks or years earlier. I wonder, if I had been there, would I have noticed the bush and would I have taken a closer look?
What do you think?”
It gave me a different perspective – is God yearning for us to stop, to notice, to be present? Would I be noticing my surroundings enough to see a burning bush if there was one? Or would I be rushing by, intent on the next thing I needed to do (however worthy that task may be) or yearning for something I believed to be unattainable, when all the while it was right here?