The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an extra that a person might grow into after he comes to faith. It is not simply a way to enhance your walk with the Lord. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit, your faith cannot please God. It is not saving faith. Saving faith is the confidence that if you sell all you have and forsake all sinful pleasures, the hidden treasure of holy joy will satisfy your deepest desires. Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable. It is the confidence that He will come through with His promises and that what He promises is more to be desired than all the world.
I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.
There is something in the depths of our being that hungers for wholeness and finality. Because we are made for eternal life, we are made for an act that gathers up all the powers and capacities of our being and offers them simultaneously and forever to God. The blind spiritual instinct that tells us obscurely that our owns lives have a particular importance and purpose, and which urges us to find out our vocation, seeks in so doing to bring us to a decision that will dedicate our lives irrevocably to their true purpose. The man who loses this sense of his own personal destiny, and who renounces all hope of having any kind of vocation in life has either lost all hope of happiness or else has entered upon some mysterious vocation that God alone can understand.
I was 9 years old when I had my first glimpse of wholeness. It was early Christmas morning and I was standing in my pajamas in the living room and looked out of the large windows. Outside the white snow flakes silently singled down toward a snowclad landscape. Suddenly I was filled with a feeling of being one with the slowly dancing snowflakes, one with the silent landscape. I did not understand then that this was my first taste of meditation, but it created a deep thirst and a longing in my heart to return to this natural and effortless experience of being one with the Whole.
Meditation expands our inner being. The inner being is like a small, individual river flowering towards the Ocean. In meditation, I feel how my inner being expands into an inner ocean, which is part of everything, which is one with Existence. Through the inner being, we come in contact with the inner ocean, the undefined and boundless within ourselves, where we are one with life. We realize that God is part of life. We realize that God is not a person, but the consciousness that is part of everything. We find God in a flower, in a tree, in the eyes of a child or in a playful dog. Through discovering our inner being, we discover that we are also part of the flower, the child or the dog. We realize that God is everywhere.
It is when we develop both our inner man and woman that we find a new harmony and wholeness within ourselves. Healing means to develop and integrate our inner man and woman so that love can flow between them. To rediscover our own inner source of love, we need to embrace both the male and female sides within ourselves. When these two sides are developed and integrated, a new spark of love, joy, harmony, creativity and wholeness arises within us. Awareness is an inner harmony between opposite poles and tendencies.
I have always felt deep within myself that I do not trust that I am already OK as I am, and that I do not trust that life takes care of me. But now I discover a silent place in the depth of my inner being, where I am already one with life, where I am OK as I am. It is also a silent inner place of healing and wholeness, where I can find a love and acceptance for that which is imperfect within myself.
Cultural wisdom says 'Don't quit your day job.' Yet I think these desires represent our psyche's stretch toward wholeness. And to be whole, as many religious tranditions teach, is to make manifest a unique face of God in the world. We don't want to be irresponsible, yet for every accountant who deserts his family and sails for Tahiti, ten American men have heart attacks at their desks, after hours.