“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
If I am made for God, then I am vastly deep. Perhaps bottomless.
On the outside, I am finite: enclosed by skin, limited in reach. But on the inside, I am infinite: eternity set upon my heart. I feel the ache sometimes. But it makes me uneasy; I try to ignore it. I concentrate on the outside. I work to extend my reach; stretch my dollars, speed up my technology, lengthen my life. I’m over-compensating, I know. Trying to stretch finitude across a span of infinitude is crazy, but I can’t seem to stop.
Maybe I ought to stop and dare to listen to the ache – so deep and dark. Maybe I ought to drop stones into it and listen for them to hit the bottom. And when they don’t – maybe I ought to stare and wonder. The Bible says that I am ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’ So perhaps I ought to take this seriously and let myself feel it – the fear and the wonder. I think this would be good for me. It would be an appropriate practice for a creature who is made for God.
I know why I don’t. I am afraid, beset with a peculiar sort of anxiety. Some writers have a name for it: Mysterium tremendum et fascinates – the mystery at which a person is both fascinated by and trembles at.
That’s me. Fascinated and afraid. I am intrigued by the depth in me and overwhelmed at the same time. It is an odd experience – two sharp sensations at once, a double-anxiety. On the one hand, I am afraid that I will flee from the heights of who I am. On the other hand, I am afraid I will leap into it. I have felt something similar when standing on the edge of a cliff. Perhaps this is what a moth feels when circling and flitting with a flame. I am torn. It is like an intense homesickness for a place I’ve never been.
I so want to be human. Made for God. Vastly deep. Perhaps bottomless.
Maybe I ought to edge as close as I can manage to the depth. And hold that position, braving the anxiety until I can feel the wonder. Maybe that would be an appropriate practice for a creature who is made for God – a creature such as me.
Roger Edwards joined The Barnabas Center in 1991. In addition to counseling individuals and couples, Roger teaches and leads discussion groups about applying the Bible to everyday life. He is a licensed professional counselor, holds a master’s degree in biblical counseling from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana and earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is married to Jean, and they have seven children.