Note: For this first week, it seems best to give an orientation around the goal and aspiration of this resource. We can use each day to set the compass for where we are headed and carve out the rhythm for our journey together.
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Matt. 16:26)
Henry David Thoreau once famously said, “Most people lead lives of quiet desperation, and they go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Quiet desperation. It could be the curse of our time. It is signaled by the all-too-common response to the question, “How are you doing?” “Fine,” we answer. Someone once pointed out that the word fine, in this context, offers an apt acronym: Frustrated, Impatient, Nervous, and Exhausted. We manage this quiet desperation by smart phone and hold it at bay by a thousand small distractions. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
One of two things will turn up the volume on this quiet desperation: crisis or awakening. And though it is not a requirement, often it takes the former to produce the latter. Either way, the beginning of awakening in our lives is signaled by a growing awareness of the gnawing dissatisfaction in the pit of our souls. Let’s call it a holy dissatisfaction. To the extent we are not attuned to this reality we are still asleep.
True growth most often begins with a growing sense of dissonance. We are dissatisfied with the way things are. We are not the person we hoped we would become by now. Unheeded, this discontent can lead anywhere from a numbing affluence to a disastrous addiction. When we pay attention to this dissatisfaction it can lead to tremendous breakthroughs into the greater purposes for our lives. Paying attention means opening the vault of our quiet desperation and bringing forth our dissatisfaction, that it might be named aloud and offered to God.
Heavenly Father, something deep down tells me there’s more to this life than I presently know and experience. I do not want to settle for less than what you want for me. I want to trust you that underneath my discontent are your divine purposes, your dreams, and your plans for me. Come, Holy Spirit, and grant me the courage to turn away from all that would distract me, and grant me the grace to become completely honest with myself before you. And I pray this for (name your band mates). In Jesus’ name, amen.
Can you begin to name the holy dissatisfaction in your life? Give it a try.
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