Once upon a dream i

And as I am still learning much from Tim Keller’s teachings, I’d like to share this excerpt of his with you…otherwise paraphrased: “…here’s why it’s so hard to heal a crushed spirit: we cannot ‘live’ alone, we need a word from outside, a kind word…we can’t heal ourselves, we need someone to come in from outside with love…we’ve got a conscience…years and years and years of therapy – having been told “stop feeling guilty, stop feeling guilty, stop letting them put a guilt trip on you,” and you know what? – years and years and years later, you’re still feeling guilty. Even when no-ones pursuing, you flee. There is something indelible about a sense that “I’m just not right, I’m just not living up, I’m not doing what I ought to do” …What are you going to do about that? What are you going to do about existential angst (dread, anxiety) in the face of death. And how in the WORLD are you going to stop your heart from putting your ultimate trust, your ultimate hope, in things that you can lose? Well, here’s the answer: the secret is the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life. It’s an interesting reference. What do I mean by the secret being the Tree of Life (which is mentioned three times here in the book of Proverbs)? Well, the Tree of Life is mentioned three times here in Proverbs- it’s an interesting reference- the bible talks about the tree of life in Genesis and the bible talks about the tree of life in Revelation but there’s nowhere else in the bible that the Tree of Life is discussed, other than in the book of Proverbs. Through wisdom, the book of proverbs says, you can actually get a taste of it…The Tree of Life represents fullness of life: absolute satiation of the deepest desires. You’ve got creative desires to accomplish things, you’ve got aesthetic desires for beauty, you’ve got romantic desires for relationship for love, you’ve got longing for absolute satiation of the amount that you think you could want: the Tree of Life. But…the book of Proverbs also tells us that we lost it. The end of Genesis ch. 3 says there is a flaming sword waving back of forth that keeps us from the tree of life because when we turned to be our own masters, to be our own Lords…when we decided that we wanted to be our own lords, we lost the Tree of Life…Now what does that mean? … Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” … What it’s really saying, that our deepest longings, the things we put our hearts on to fulfill our deepest longs, we’ll never fulfill them because what we’re looking for, in everything we do, is the Tree of Life. In other words, when you get a new career, when you get a new boyfriend, when you go on a vacation, when you get a new house, when you travel to some place you’ve never been – there’s always something – it promises something that it can never. actually. deliver. – why? – one hebrew commentator puts it like this: “In the bible, the ‘tree of life’ is an image of immortal, eternal life, but also, it’s an image of irretrievable loss. It’s an image of cosmic nostalgia: a longing for something we remember, yet we’ve never had. In all of the music you go to, to kind-of, give yourself a high, you’re actually looking for a song that you remember but you’ve never heard…what you’re looking for in love: you’re looking for are arms that you remember but you’ve never really had. That’s what the bible’s saying, that’s what the Tree of Life is and, unless you understand that what your’re looking for is the tree of life then you’re not going to be wise. Of course there’s no one who’s put it, quite, like Lewis, who says: “Most people, if they really learn how to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want and want acutely what cannot be had in this world.” The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love or when we first think of some foreign country or first take up some subject that excites us are longings which no marriage, no travel, no longing can really satisfy…there’s always something we grasped at…

In elaborating, i’ll be brief 🙂 for it was not easy to start and stop Keller’s podcast in order to transpose his, very rapid, delivery! His thesis is SO PROFOUND and I felt it was important to write down and share. This commentators mention of “cosmic nostalgia” strike a deep cord in my heart. You know when you have conversation with someone you feel “really gets” you? – that’s the feeling I got while listening to this sermon. So I KNOW, even more now, that wisdom IS the understanding that my heart’s longings, my emotional (more-pronounced in my life right now) and logical hungers and true. And that I can and will attain all His wisdom as I walk according to his purposes in my life! Please do not misunderstand, your life and pursuit of happiness and all wisdom is yours (not mine nor mine-for-the-judging -lest-I-fall-to-judgement). However, my wish is that you may find such understanding that our longings are for the pathway back to the tree of life.

One response

  1. Pingback: Once upon a dream ii | jasper photography ltd.

write your comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s