What do an Aston Martin and a plastic ballerina have in common? Well…
This week I was reading again that one of the keys to experiencing the presence of God in our lives is to be hungry for him. And a big part of me said. “Yes, yes, yes” but a small but significant part of me said “But, I’m soooo tired, I just don’t have the energy to get more hungry.”
And then God reminded me about the plastic ballerina and the Aston Martin…
I saw the Aston Martin in the car showroom when we were out trying to choose a boring family car. Up until that moment I genuinely only cared that we found something clean, reliable and with enough luggage space for a travel cot and a double buggy. And then I saw it… a gorgeous dark blue convertible Aston Martin… and I wanted it.
Of course: we couldn’t afford it; there was definitely no space for the car seats or pushchairs and it would have been criminal to have small sticky fingers rub biscuits into the upholstery. But it was beautiful and as I looked at it a pure powerful desire bubbled up in my heart, entirely unbidden.
The plastic ballerina lived in a pink jewellry box belonging to my cousin Sacha. When I was about five I went to visit and was totally entranced by the spinning figure and the tinkly music. I looked and looked at it all afternoon and I can remember wanting it, or one like it, so badly it almost hurt.
So, I think God is saying to me that hunger and desire for him isn’t something I have to dredge up from somewhere, spun out of a reserve of energy that I don’t really have. It’s not reliant on my own effort – I can’t will it into life. I didn’t try to get hungry for the Aston Martin (or the plastic ballerina!), it didn’t take effort or energy – it just happened. When you spend time looking at something beautiful, thinking about it, imagining having it in your life – hunger rises up.
Would you like more hunger for God in your life? This week, spend some time looking at Jesus. Read the gospels, write a list of all the things he has done in your life before, or all the things that you’ve heard him say one way or another. Look for him where he is already at work in your life and dream the dreams of how life could be with more of his presence in it…
And don’t stress about it. As you gaze on his beauty, the hunger for more of him will just rise up.
Blessed are those who are hungry!
Father show me
a glimpse of your son
expose a fragment of his beauty
uncover a corner of the mystery
reveal a fraction of your glory
to my eyes
and take my heart captive once again