When was the last time you felt it-your own longing, that is? Your longing for love, your longing for God, your longing to live your life as it is meant to be lived in God? When was the last time you felt a longing for healing and fundamental change groaning within you? Do not rush past this question; it may be the most important question you ever ask. But this is hard, I know. In religious circles we are much more accustomed to silencing our desire, distancing ourselves from it, because we are suspicious and afraid of its power. Isn’t there something better I should be doing with my time? We ask ourselves. Something thing a little less dangerous and unpredictable? Something more selfless and spiritual?
And besides, desire is such a volatile thing. Are not my desires sires shot through with human deception and sinful urges? What if they overtake me and propel me down a path I ought not travel? Worse yet, what if I touch that place of longing and desire within me and let myself really feel how deep it goes, only to discover that those desires cannot be met? What will I do with myself then? How will I live with desire that is awake and alive rather than asleep and repressed?
Ruth Haley Barton. Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation (Kindle Locations 165-172). Kindle Edition.
Given the last paragraph, I’m 90% sure that RHB is an Enneagram 1. One major characteristic of 1s is suppression of desire: not trusting internal desires as good, or permissible, or useful for direction, or trustworthy.
As I enter another season of discernment, my 1-ness becomes a hindrance. Trusting my own desires as good and influenced/given by God isn’t natural MO. When I get asked, “What do you want?” I hesitate. Is following Jesus really about what I want? Today what I want is to sit on the porch and to drink a cold beer. That’s not a great long-term plan.
I don’t know. Do I have to know? I mean, I have some ideas. But are any of those good ideas? The “right” idea? The “right” path? Does whatever-is-next have to be the “right thing?” What if there are many right things?
30s-discernment feels much more open-ended and complex.