Just when you thought you had it all figured out…

Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.”
Augustine of Hippo

“Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends”
Joseph Campbell

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(Tyreaware minions, Kilcolgan, County Galway, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

Just when you thought you had your life all figured out…
Knowing who you were, where you were going and what you wanted out of life…
WHHHHAAAAMMMAM
Upside the head it hits you.
It’s like out of no where…the inevitable curve ball comes flying your way, skewing all that nice neat order you had worked so hard setting up.

You were cruising along, having jumped through all the necessary good life hoops…
You’d gotten everything, those proverbial stars of yours, aligned and you were set…
Good to go.
Life was good…
You were happy…
Your little corner of the world was rocking along quite nicely.
You weren’t really worried about anything…
You had The education, The job, The car, The clothes, The spouse, The kids, The friends, The house, The pets, The vacations …

You even had your “religious” time all neatly organized and in a pretty little box set up on the self–you’d take it down, dusting it off, those days you weren’t playing golf, or having to watch the kids, or when you had to take the family to church because of Easter…

Yep…
Yessiree, life seemed golden.

But one day, a day like any other day, there was a tilt in the axis.
Neatness and perfection shifted.
Trouble was brewing and you…well you were like a deer in headlights.
Standing there with that kind of dumb “what just happened here” look all over your face.

It caught you by surprise.
It rocked your whole world…
Everything you thought you knew and believed…
Well it was now standing upside down.
All because of what you thought you knew and believed wasn’t really the real deal.

Either you had read the words, listened to the words, were told the words, witnessed the words…oh it doesn’t really matter how, because the words, the thought, the idea, the notion…it all hit you…like a ton of bricks…and now that is all that matters.

“We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put the urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.”
(A.W.Tozer)

The words now reverberate in your entire being.

…He first put the urge within us…”

It’s like an alarm clock just went off inside your head.
The urge, the gnawing yearning, put there at your very conception, finally pushed its way forward and you finally took notice.

It’s about time…

And today, everything is now different.
Neat no longer cuts it.
Conviction has come calling my friend,
And you, thankfully, will never be the same.

That thin veil that once hung over your tidy little world, gently covering the real work at hand, has been lifted and for the first time in your lifetime…you can actually see…clearly, thankfully, beautifully see…
and finally you truly know what exactly it is that you are to be about…

For God has come calling my friend…and joyfully, life, your life, and the lives of those you touch, will never be the same…

“Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire.
Deuteronomy 4:36

in the details, rests the Divine

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
Augustine of Hippo

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(bees busy at work outside the window at Ashford Castle / Cong, County Galway / County Mayo / Julie Cook / 2015)

“Leave me alone with God as much as may be. As the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore, make me an island, set apart, alone with you, God, holy to you. Then with the turning of the tide prepare me to carry your presence to the busy world beyond, the world that rushes in on me till the waters come again and fold me back to you.”
St Aidan

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(the detail of a tiny bee busy at work / Ashford Castle, Cong, County Galway, County Mayo / Julie Cook / 2015)

Resting

“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord,
and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

― Augustine of Hippo

“Love turns work into rest.”
― Teresa of Ávila

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(wildflowers in a meadow / Julie Cook / 2015)

A body too tired for sleep. . .
A mind laced with dreams too fretful for rest. . .
While troubled souls lay wearily exposed.
In the midst of the day, unbeknownst to most watchful eyes, Humility greets Meekness
With open minds and open hands. . .
Thankful weary souls fall
Graciously, gratefully and gently into open arms
Held tightly now in Love’s tender embrace

Consuming flame

“There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.”
― Vincent van Gogh

You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.”
― Augustine of Hippo

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(December sunset / Julie Cook / 2014)

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(moon rising behind the trees / Julie Cook / 2014 )

A fire rages within my soul, burning sweetly Love’s tender reeds.
What of this earth can quench the inferno I long to quell?
A deep gnawing burns and aches in the center of my heart causing me to thrash about as if in grave pain.
I cry out to you yet my longing only grows more intense.

Where can I go to find relief?
If I climb to the highest peak or cross the widest desert, there is no end to the painful longing.
As a child who cries out in the dark to a parent to come offer comfort, I cry out unto you.
The never-ending emptiness in my heart grows daily as my tears and desire mingle as one.

I am consumed by the endless thirst and need I have for you, which is for you and you alone.
I long for your embrace,
your touch,
your voice calling out my name.
Do you hear me?
Do you see me?
I long to know.

I am consumed by the burning flame of your heart which thankfully yet painfully burns deeply into my own.
What is it that separates us?
What is it that keeps me from you?
I need to be joined to you.
Break down the barriers oh Lord and knit me to you as I long to tie myself to you and quench
this burning desire of my soul.