“One thing I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.”
— Psalm 27:4-5 (NRSV)
LONELINESS is a thing we have all known, yet in loneliness there is the absence of thought about what is otherworldly. In other words, when we lose the fullness of sight for God we are bound to be miserable. Putting these two previous sentences together, then, is about understanding the comprehensive dichotomy between heaven and earth – one is home, the other is away.
We have every capacity for stillness and peace and joy and hope when we lose sight of the world, and all the things the world ‘offers’ that we yet don’t have, or that have been taken from us. We miss these things only when the world takes precedence in our minds and hearts. So we are bound to miss them. It makes our lives miserable to comprehend what we are missing out on.
But we ought to look at what we already have: the capacity, motivation, and wherewithal to inhabit the house of the Lord.
Anyone may transcend to hold the world has on them at any time. All we verily need to do is acknowledge that we are eternal beings, unique by design, known uniquely by God (confirmation of which is how intimately we may know ourselves – and only ourselves), and that we are far from home. This is why we are lonely. Yet we fill our lives with the things of the world, and we wonder why we have not been healed, and in fact may have become even lonelier.
We need to inhabit the house of the Lord. This place is an image in our minds, a sanctuary where the heart may rest, and a time where our souls might commune with the only source of real help.
To live in the house of the Lord is a privilege replete of every mercy known to humankind. We cannot know ourselves until we go there. Stripping off every worldly appendage we go into the house of the Lord by our temporal separation from all degrees of this world. When we go to be with God, the Lord reframes our views of life. But we must choose to go there, which is to go elsewhere from the stimulus of the world.
Establishing peace of mind and joy for life is about going to the Source of Life. The world, as we see it, can only disappoint us and betray happiness. When we set ourselves apart to God, however, we find we are blessed when we live in the house of the Lord – which is always a state of being.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.