“But we had hoped…and what is more, it is the third day…” LUKE. 24:21.
In Luke 24 we meet two of Jesus’ apostles on the road to Emmaus talking dejectedly about how their hopes and expectations had not been met. That same day the women had told the apostles of their strange experience of finding the tomb of Jesus empty, of them being told that Jesus was alive and to remember what Jesus had told them about what would happen to him at Galilee they dismissed this as nonsense. They “knew” what had happened. Jesus was dead and all their hopes and dreams were shattered.
As they walked Jesus joined them asking what they were debating but they didn’t “see him”. They didn’t recognize him. Why? Like all of us they were caught up in their own reality and Jesus being there just didn’t fit in. They were living their own illusion.
Dejection springs from one of two sources- I have either satisfied a lust or I have not. Lust means – I must have it and at once. When we lust for anything our focus narrows to what we want and we perceive little outside of our goal. If we succeed in attaining what we want and find, as we invariably do, that it doesn’t really satisfy us, we search for something else to lust for and so the wheel of suffering continues.
If we don’t get what we desire we demand an answer from God. We insist that God answers our prayer by granting our hearts’ desire, if he doesn’t we get dejected and blame God for our troubles. If we don’t believe in God or prayer we find someone else to blame as we wallow in our dejection. Whenever the insistence is on the point that God answers prayer, we are off the track. The meaning of prayer is that we get hold of God, we lay our burdens, hopes whatever at his feet and leave them their. WE then move on, not seeking signs or visions from heaven but focusing on the commonplace and the people around us. This is where we will find God and his most amazing revelations. We will move out of our dejection if we do the duty that lies nearest and change our focus from our desires to living fully in each precious moment. Prayer or meditation brings a closeness of God (or the divine spirit for those who are put off by the name God) that heightens our awareness of the beauty surrounding us. Our view broadens, allowing us the ability to see that the sun is still shinning, that we had merely put a cloud of dejection between it and us shutting out its light and warmth. If the apostles couldn’t see a newly risen, radiant Jesus, I wonder what I am missing seeing today. Enjoy what is don’t miss it!