Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock. (Matthew 7:7-8 GNT)
“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” (Maya Angelou)
As this year unfolds, I’ve been asking questions, seeking answers and knocking on several doors for inspiration.
I often think I have to find new sources, but in these searching days, my meandering also leads me back to familiar wells of satisfaction waiting for me to dip into them for refreshment once again.
Last week I was asking the question: What am I hungry for? And the answer was inspiration.
Today I am asking: Why is my soul weary and dry? And the answer is thirst. What am I thirsting for? Why am I thirsty? Is there a difference between hunger and thirst?
These questions lead me back to sources that are known to satisfy my soul. The answer for me is found in words and definitions. I go to the Word and the dictionary.
In Scriptures, the apostle John calls Jesus, the Word. (John 1:1,14) And when his disciples are discouraged, they say they can’t leave him because Jesus has the words of life. (John 6:68)
Jesus speaks of hunger and thirst. He offers himself as the bread of life and the wine of redemption. He calls himself the living water. (John 6:35 and John 7:37,38)
Hunger and thirst go together. Both food and drink sustain our bodies, keep our mind alert and our spirits open to inspiration.
According to http://www.m-w.com, hunger and thirst have a common denominator: a strong or ardent desire. The nuance of difference can be discerned through the effects of each state of being. Hunger causes an uneasy sensation and thirst manifests as dryness.
Spiritual hunger presents as an uneasiness with life. Spiritual thirst manifests as dryness of soul. Both, for me, are indicated when I lack joy and enthusiasm.
Another interesting note is that the common word in both definitions, desire, comes from a Latin root which means “heavenly body.” So using hunger and thirst as spiritual metaphors becomes more meaningful to me because these desires appear to have a divine purpose, as well as, the practical means of staying alive in our physical bodies.
Thirst seems to describe my current spiritual state better than hunger in this moment. Further understanding of thirst comes from an obsolete definition of desire. Desire used to mean “to invite.” What is my thirst inviting me towards?
An archaic meaning of desire indicates that thirst can be a way of “feeling the loss of” something. What loss am I feeling? Am I thirsting for something to replace that loss?
All these words and definitions raise more questions. So my mind wanders and searches for more answers. And my mind lands on the practice of listening and doodling with pen in hand, as I listen. Then the doodling draws me to color in the shapes, and highlight words that drew me in.
And the answer comes from various approaches:reading, listening, writing, doodling, coloring and defining. The answer that surfaced was the phrase “be open.” Be open to the inbetween. Be open to asking questions and seeking answers.
Be willing to knock on several doors. Be open to intentional time and chaotic moments. Be open and the calmness will return. Be open and your hungers and thirsts will ebb and become urgent again. It’s all part of the rhythm of living.
Asking for what I need and want is essential. Often asking for help is my last resort; I’m a very independent person. But I am learning that asking for what I need and want is a good practice. And hopefully, asking will more and more become my first response.
What do you need or want today?