What I found
I settled as comfortably as I could on the narrow table, my left knee cradled in a plastic trough that would soon be completely encompassed by a technological thingamajig. The tech offered me a blanket, which I happily accepted because even though I’m warm nearly all the time, it was chilly in that room. He then gave me a pair of headphones and told me I’d need to wear them because the machine was loud, but he could pipe some music through them if I’d like.
“What kind of music?”
“I have just about everything. Country and western, rock, Christian, jazz, gospel…”
Most of those categories sounded pretty distasteful to me, and the last thing I wanted to be was trapped in an MRI machine and ordered to lie perfectly still while something horrible assaulted my ears with caterwauling and saccharine.
“Hmm…what kind of rock?”
“I’ve got Bruce Springsteen, U2, the Beatles…”
“U2, please.” I cut him off, but I didn’t expect to hear anything I would like better than U2 or the Beatles anyway. I was relieved to have good music amongst the choices.
He started the music, which was pretty soft through the headphones, and my table slid into the technological thingamajig mothership, where a lot of whirring and clanking immediately commenced. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Might as well relax; I’m gonna be here a while.
The Joshua Tree album began playing. Half an hour of good music, chatting with Jesus, and thinking the kind of thoughts you can only think when you’re still.
As I laid there I once again heard Bono sing one of the truest things I know:
“And I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…”
Yeah. Admit THAT in Christian circles. Admit THAT in places where religion reigns supreme. It’s practically heresy.
But it’s true. I am wired for something so…so…other. And although I commune with the infinite and eternal on a regular basis, I can’t seem to find a way to scratch that itch in the middle of my back. I can’t get full enough or high enough. I can’t go fast enough or far enough or deep enough. I take the deepest breath I am physically able to hold, and yet something in me is still gasping for air.
Sometimes I think I am the neediest person on the planet, or at least the most intense.
My peace is that He knows this about me. He made me this way. And He’s the master of unfolding. He provides the bait and lure, almost always in the form of some part of Himself or His kingdom, and He knows I’m going to come hard after it in nothing flat. Eventually, He lets me catch Him, or that part of Him, and I begin to wonder if this is it, if this is That Thing I’ve been looking for. It’s about that time I look up, and just beyond me He’s thrown out the lure again, and I’m off and running. Fleshly appetites can be a hassle, for sure, but my appetite for Him I don’t even attempt to manage. It’s wildfire. Let it rage.
Everything else best get out of the way.
I am content in my holy discontent. And you know I’m still runnin’…