Since I have spent most of my life cheering for the underdog, it is not often that my team wins. It is even more rare that my team consistently wins. But seeing my team win a big game is most rare of all. (Even when I had an interlude in my underdog appreciation and rooted vociferously for the University of Oklahoma football team, we still didn’t win the big games.)
It’s such a rare phenomenon for me that when Kevin Durant hit the game-winner tonight, I danced around my living room a bit, dashed off an all-caps Facebook status, and didn’t know what to do next. I mean, what do you do when you finally get the thing you’re looking for? How do you live in light of what you’ve accomplished? Do we just go on to the next thing? Rub the trophy every time we leave the locker room for the next season? Bragging rights?
I’ve pondered this question a great deal; if I had an answer, I would have finished my second novel by now. It’s not enough to write poems, essays and songs about this idea for me; my next novel (should it ever be finished) deals directly with this topic. And I’ve been stuck for a while, because I don’t know what it’s like to get that which I long for. I’m starting to think that the longing may be the nature of life on this side of the eternal line. No wonder asceticism and meditation are popular; when faced with a chronic hole, the space filled with something or shrunk. Asceticism is shrinking it. Christianity is filling it with the joie de vivre that comes from a life lived by the Holy Spirit (regardless, it should be noted, of circumstances; although I fail in this all the time).
And I do let a lot of things get between me and the crop of the fruits of the spirit. Sometimes it’s the desire itself, grown out of proportion, that blocks me from filling the hole. When the hole is too vast for anything to fill it, everything feels underwhelming. Everything, that is, but Christ. The love of Christ is infinite, and can fill any hole that is cleared for him to fill with his love. And we have a Father who clears those spaces in us.
And that is how I live in light of the completion: that which was necessary for me was done by Christ. All that follows is a rejoicing in that truth, and an outworking of that truth. I must constantly look back at the event and rejoice. It is not always what I want, but it is always what I need.