Will you still love me when I’m not longer young and beautiful?
The New Great Gatsby Movie is coming out in less than a Month. I. am. ecstatic.
In other news, I’m almost a bit discouraged by the way this quarter seems to be turning out. I wasn’t expecting any favors, but I certainly didn’t click that I would be taking two upper division classes and a foreign language, meaning a lot of late nights and very little social time. But more than that, it means that I may not be able to read those books I had planned to, and that’s a bit frustrating.
But that’s not why I am writing. I’m writing because of that first line, and how it’s harrowing truth, not so much in what it is saying, but the fact that it matters to me in the first place.
It’s funny; I never thought of myself as vain. I thought someone had to be beautiful to be vain, and beautiful wasn’t me. At least, not until I left for school.
But I think I have been incredibly vain, even before I began to think that I was beautiful, or handsome, or even attractive. I’ve obsessed over what I wear, how I walk, how I speak and the measure of whit I implant in a conversation so much that I hardly feel like I can relax, or even truly explore myself in a context that doesn’t require me to turn to people outside of myself. Not for an extended period of time.
It translates into my love life, which is really a monster. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that I’m at least some sort of addict. If not showered with compliments, if not noticed as I am walking down the street, if I don’t have a certain number of messages waiting for me when I log onto any of the various social networking sites I habit at any given time during the day, no matter how many times I log on a day, I begin to doubt my chances of ever finding someone.
That’s so stupid.
And of course, whatever translates into my life, translates into my faith.
“Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband.”
But where are you when I am sitting in my room alone, itching to embrace someone? What am I to do about the carnality that wracks within me like a caged prisoner? How will you help me in this?
I know that the love that I have in God is unchanging, and unfathomable. But it would nice to be able to fathom some of the parts that can address the lust and vanity issues I have.
“When you experience a great need for human affection, you have to ask yourself whether the circumstances surrounding you and the people you are with are truly where God wants you to be. Whatever you are doing — watching a movie, writing a book, giving a presentation, eating, or sleeping — you have to stay in God’s presence. If you feel a great loneliness and a deep longing for human contact, you have to be extremely discerning. Ask yourself whether this situation is truly God-given. Because where God wants you to be, God holds you safe and gives you peace, even when there is pain.
To live a disciplined life is to live in such a way that you want only to be where God is with you. The more deeply you live your spiritual life, the easier it will be to discern the difference between living with God and living without God, and the easier it will be to move away from the places where God is no longer with you.
The great challenge here is faithfulness, which must be lived in the choices of every moment. When your eating, drinking, working, playing, speaking, or writing is no longer for the glory of God, you should stop it immediately, because when you no longer live for the glory of God, you begin living for your own glory. Then you separate yourself from God and do yourself harm.
Your main question should always be whether something is lived with or without God. You have your own inner knowledge to answer the question. Every time you do something that comes from your needs for acceptance, affirmation, or affection, and every time you do something that makes these needs grow, you know that you are not with God. These needs will never be satisfied; they will only increase when you yield to them. But every time you do something for the glory of God, you will know God’s peace in your heart and find rest there.”
— Henri J. M. Nouwen, “Keep Living Where God Is,” The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish To Freedom
Ugh. I even know the answer, and it’s doing nothing for me. What to do now?
“Be Still, and Know that I am God.” -Psalm 46:10