On the eve of my trip to college, I laid on a mat in my basement, beside my pretty young girlfriend and cried hysterically for hours. I cried like a mother who had just lost her son. No funeral, no breakup, no thought of death nor destruction could previously bring about such an emotional outburst in me as it, the thought of my leaving, did that night. I had loved something, and I knew that tomorrow was the beginning of its end.
You may be thinking that this loved object of mine was my girlfriend. It was in part, but it was oh so much more than that. It was in those days that the winsomeness of youth which paraded down my streets, up the drive and through the halls of my house and school became the object of my deepest love. My craft of manipulation became so perfected, so that nothing short of violence could part the bond of love which emanated from my heart toward this thing. It is a thing, so vague and theoretical, but yet so real in its concrete manifestations, and so pleasurable in our possession of them.
We possessed them in their entirety. The drinking binges, the incessant sex, the almost daily smoking of marijuana, the comfort of low expectations, little responsibility, the glory of victory in our sporting events and all the fruits which came from it were all lowly dangling; we need not even leave the ground to pluck them with our grasp. And yet, on that eve, I knew I would continue on in search of these manifestations. I knew of my high probability of possessing them again, but these things were just ancillaries, like an altar propping up an empty throne.
As the college years passed and I attempted to regain my lost love through the typical channels that young men travel down at that age, I finally came to knowledge that had evaded me for sometime. It was the simple knowledge that loving can only be had through perfect possession. It was perfect possession of the object, in its freedom and entirety, that I really longed for. I unfortunately came to this conclusion through the necessary results of desiring an object that couldn’t be possessed – despair. I despaired at the end of those college years. Whereas my tears indicated a love lost on that eve in the dark of a basement, I wondered the nights, awake and starving, craving for food that was incapable of satisfying my hunger. I ate and ate, and yet my hunger only grew in severity.
The sadness at the end of my high schooled life was the sadness of one parting from his love. It was agonizing for a time, but the sensation subsisted only a short time. The end of my college years were something far different. That period was the realization that what I was desiring in my high schooled years was but a mirage, an idea of a perfection I could grasp and hold in my bosom. It wasn’t real. It was a myth. And I despaired. I grew sickly thin, thought seriously about suicide, slept 8 hours a week, and eventually fixed my gaze at something I found to be so real and true that I certainly knew of its ability so satisfy my hunger.
We all love something, but we all can’t possess that something. Gold corrodes. Fine linen is overrun by moth. Banquets of the most delectable foods will spoil and rot. The desire for these things is useless. They are only supplements to what we truly long to possess. And we must each find this thing, and when we do, we will find peace.
“My heart is restless until it rests in thee.”
“But those who drink the water I give him will never thirst again.”