Do you have a life longing? Is there something that you long for, but that you have been denied? Not something that I would refer to as a "comic book longing" such as wealth, eternal youth, fame, or super-human abilities. But something that a lot of people have and that is so common, most people take it for granted, something that only you would recognize as being remarkable to attain? Yes? Then you have a life longing.
One common characteristic of life longings is the Almost Factor. The Almost Factor is probably the most cruel part of it all. You almost get there. You almost have it. Or maybe you have it, but just long enough to love it...before it is taken away. There just seems to be one little step, one little detail, that is missing, that keeps your dream away...at longing's length.
And then there's the Why Not factor. At some point, if your life longing is really a life longing and not a gimme-gimme, you'll find yourself asking "Would it matter Lord? Would it really mess anyone up if you let me have a spouse? or a baby? How would that hurt anyone?"
Good questions. I don't have an answer, but I do have this story (which has nothing to do with life-longings, but is just an example of considering the unknown). I had a big responsibility at church when I got cancer. We call them "callings" in my church. I thought I would be released from that responsibility to deal with my illness, but I was not. Many times I wished I was released. But cancer came and went and my calling stayed. When I look back, I think about how hard it was to do both and how much better it would have been to be released, but then the thought always follows...I have no idea how it would have been without the calling. Maybe it was easier to have that distraction and those opportunities to serve. Bottome line; I just don't know what it would have been like to go through cancer without the calling. Maybe it would have been worse.
So maybe my life longing is a blessing in disguise and someday I'll realize that it was better to live without attaining my dream than to actually have it fulfilled. I don't know...we'll have to wait and see.
My personal belief? That we all are given a life longing. Some of us can talk about them, which is helpful. But others have longings that by necessity, must be carried alone, which is hard. You can take comfort and solace in knowing that deep inside, we're probably all nursing a tiny little broken heart. Maybe the next time you cross paths with a real jerk (and I hope it's not me), just remember there's a possiblility that that person is acting a little jerky because he/she is feeling like 'the only one' that day, or maybe even really believes at the moment that they are the 'only one'. After all, pity parties don't exactly bring out the best in us, do they?