The warmth of the room melds with the resonance of the cello playing this morning. Within a few minutes, sound and skin temperature become one feeling. I'm not doing it justice, I know...but there are times when one's senses draw from different sources to manifest one sensation.
Call it what you want. Being 'in the moment' sounds a little metaphysical, but it's what I feel in this place this morning. This is what it feels like when I drop by in the evenings for a moment - that I'd really like to just sit down and be here rather than run back out in the cold.
I'm reminded of being interviewed on camera for a curriculum that was being produced on my last day on staff at VCC. During the course of the discussion, the interviewer asked what I was going to do next (after leaving VCC). I was surprised at the emotion that rose in my voice when I told him that having proven that I knew how to do things, I wanted to learn how to be something.(1) What I didn't have language for, but am now beginning to understand, is that I wanted to learn what it means to be before God.
Don't lump this in with general thoughts about how great IHOP is. I smile at those who talk of the glory of IHOP. At 6am on Thanksgiving Day, that mystique is almost completely gone. All that is in the room is God and some people who want Him. No glory cloud, no empty wheel chairs...although we'd be up for either. My guess is if one of those two showed up, the place would fill pretty quickly.
In moments like these, I am acutely aware of something that might otherwise be thought of as a given: I really want to be here.
It's not always been like this. In our four years in the prayer room, I've not always wanted to be here...and to be completely honest, even now the want wavers at times. Thankfully, these days, it wavers for a moment rather than month. My wanting to be here carries me when finances, juggled roles and the mild stigma of doing something that only a narrow, narrow percentage of my friends understand conspires to run me out of town. I want to be here more than I want money, clarity or even the understanding of others.
Anyway, I'm thinking about the nature of wanting, and the surprise I find in my own heart at my want to be here. A want is a funny thing. You can't demand that it happen. You can do things by force of will, but you can't force your will to do much of anything. Desire has a mind of it's own. You can manifest it, but you can't make it. You can't demand yourself into wanting to be or do something any more than you can make a calculating decision to fall madly in love.
I'm thankful for wanting to be here this morning. Thankful that, even for a moment, I identify with David, the shepherd poet king, who wrote "...earth has nothing I desire but you."
Everything else is Thanksgiving gravy.
(1) Don't interpret this as a negative on the church we were serving in. The statement had much more to do with my own heart and mind than where we were serving.