Longing

When I was in high school, I proudly displayed my Pearl Jam albums for all to see.

My music defined me.

We purchased special cases to house all our CDs, complete with plastic backs to frame the books.

Matchbox Twenty, Third Eye Blind, Goo Goo Dolls, Dave Matthews Band, Sister Hazel, Our Lady Peace. These were not just screen savers on laptops –these were displays that represented pieces of our souls.

I knew adults whose cars I would climb into only to discover political talk radio playing.

How disgusting.

But I am 36 now.

And, alas, I am one of them.

What is this strange new phenomenon?

The feelings of excitement and jubilation over the release of a new album are not what they used to be. These moments of rejoicing have become fewer and further between.

But –

Every now and then, I can recall it.

Every now and then, I can feel it.

A song gets stuck in my head. For weeks at a time. Infectious and annoying and a little enjoyable too. The only way to get it out is to listen again. And again. And again. And so I wake, eager to hit play. I look forward to it the way I used to, before that part of my brain shut down after my years of teen angst.

And I realize—

This is the way I am supposed to long for God’s Word.

This is the way David felt, when he constantly wrote love songs for the Word of God. He couldn’t stop thinking about it. He couldn’t stop longing for it. It was infectiously stuck in his head. He had to have it. He had to get back to it.

In those days the Scriptures were kept in a location. The idea of portable leather-bound books are a modern convenience inconceivable to the ancient world. David had to pay the Scriptures a visit. He would literally sit and eat as much of God’s Word as he could, feasting on it, hoping this serving would last him until his next visit. He would take in as much as possible. He would longingly write of his affection and addiction to the Word of God when he was away from it.

How I long to display that kind of longing.

How I long to wake up in the morning with His Word stuck in my head the way my music used to be, unsatisfied and discontent and moving everything out of my way until I could get alone with it again.

Like David, I long to proclaim:

O God, you are my God;
I will seek you diligently.
My soul thirsts for you; my flesh longs for you
as in a dry and weary land without water.

Thus I have seen you in the sanctuary,
beholding your strength and glory.

Because your loyal love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you while I live.
I will lift up my hands in your name.

My soul will be satisfied as with the best and richest food,
and with joyful lips my mouth will praise.

When I remember you on my bed,
I meditate on you in the night watches.

Because you have been my help,
therefore in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63.

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