In this final week of the series, we discuss the life and work of Eugene Peterson, and seek to understand the lifelong practice of following Jesus that brings deep satisfaction through congruence--being our "true self." We look at the three components of a contemplative life: prayer, listening and imagining, and participating in the work God is already doing.
Writing in the 5th century, St. Augustine famously declared: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” A deep sense of longing seems to be an intrinsic part of being human. We long to be known, to be loved, to have purpose. And sometimes we are not even sure what we long for—our hearts are indeed “restless.” We all have our own ways of trying to satisfy this longing, or at least, of distracting ourselves from it: busyness, entertainment, material comforts, working, socializing… the options are endless. But if St. Augustine is right, we will not find true satisfaction until we have a deep experience of God.
We know such an experience is not something we can manufacture by our force of will, but there are practices people down through the ages have found helpful in opening their hearts and minds to the presence of God. The focus of this series is therefore not on giving up things we enjoy, but on gaining more of what truly satisfies.
In the first three weeks of this series, we will look at this topic in general as we explore the concepts of hunger, thirst and satisfaction. Then, for the following four weeks, we will learn from the wisdom of people who have dedicated their lives to experiencing more of God in a variety of historical and cultural contexts. By exploring what we really need and long for, we seek to discover together that in a world where there is never enough—time, money, success, love...God is more, so much more than enough!