Monday, February 15, 2010

Eating... and always hungry

Part of this morning's Office of Reading is from St. Bernard (who wrote the hymn Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee):

If you have found wisdom, you have found honey. But do not eat so much that you become too full and bring it all up. Eat so that you are always hungry. Wisdom says: Those who eat me continue to hunger. Do not think you have too much of it, but do not eat too much or you will throw it up. If you do, what you seem to have will be taken away from you, because you gave up searching too soon.
I was reminded of college and seminary days –– intensive biblical and theological studies so that the heart could not keep pace with the head. No wonder that seminary is often called "cemetery" for some who go in with hearts on fire and leave with the fire extinguished.

I find myself now in seminary once again.... a rather surprising turn of events that is another story, but I am trying to practice something I learned long ago: Knowing God is not the same as learning "about" God (and His ways) in a classroom (no matter how good the specific course and teacher may be). Spiritual knowledge must find a home in one's spirit.

This affects all of us. Reading the Bible is meant to connect us with the One who inspired it. Daily prayers are not simply something to "do" so we can mark it off our do-list.

Our life in Jesus is a life. Every day we come to eat and drink what we need for the day. As days turn into weeks, months and years, we "grow up into Christ." And Christ is inexhaustible, which is one reason salvation is "eternal life" –– we will be forever growing into all that our Lord has for us.

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