I spent the weekend camping in the mountains. Alberta has some majestic scenery & I feel privileged to experience it. The book I brought along was John Eldredge’s “The Journey of Desire,” sub title – “Searching for the Life We’ve Only Dreamed Of.” I bought the book at a second hand store, although it was in new condition. The inscription read: “Mom & Dad, Love M 2006.” No underlined sentences, no dog eared pages, no coffee stains, NO signs of wear – I wondered if my eyes were the first to read it – even the newness of the book, reinforced the premise of the first chapters I read. The heart longs for something more in life, and then as disappointments come, we abandon the journey for deeper meaning and settle for ‘getting on with life.’ Gerald May writes “There is a desire within each of us, in the deep center of ourselves that we call our heart … Our true identity our reason for being is to be found in this desire.” (The Awakened Heart)
But Eldredge says too often we lose hope after cumulative disappointments in life, and begin to accept a life of resignation and complacency instead of pursuing our heart’s desire. And in Christian circles we label these people dreamers, full of youthful idealism, and consider it a sign of maturity to suppress the inner longings. Do I stop dreaming because it is easier to live with disappointment than dashed Hope?
These words challenge me, as I know my life is not what I expected or wanted it to be. My heart aches with understanding alongside stories women have shared about the closed doors of their hearts, because it is too painful to risk. I long to live a passionate life, to seek out beauty, to see the wonder and mystery in this thing we call life. I do not want to settle for superficial. (Although is super part of superficial?)
The challenge for me, I pass on for you to think about …. WHAT is it you want? Have you listened to your heart? Sitting in the beauty of the mountains, my heart longed for more. Do I dare the risk of entering that journey of desire?
I’d love to hear any thoughts you have, or perhaps you have also read the book.