Sometimes I think people fancy spiritual intimacy as a final destination, something you achieve. But that's not true. Spiritual intimacy is an ongoing pursuit, a developing conversation.
Being that it's a conversation with an unending and unfathomable being [God], our pursuit of intimacy will never see an end. Our pursuit will never experience the fulfillment of the finish line. When we, therefore, approach the topic of spiritual intimacy we should remember not to be discouraged when we drift.
Like any relationship, either with our friends or spouse or sibling or parent, we will drift in our affections and may even experience estrangement for a time.
But evenso, those times of distance contribute to intimacy. For we draw from those times just as we draw from those times of beauty and closeness—all times close and far layering our relationships, coloring intimacy. Each creates a depth and artistry appropriate to our existence and form.
"Love never ends." (1 Corinthians 13:8)
This partial verse reminds us that God is love. It's not our love that never ends, it's his and it's him. All the earth passes, but he remains. We grope through the fog of the world. We squint through the murky glass of reality.
And all in pursuit of that which has no end. All in pursuit of that which prompts our hope, and undergirds our faith. All in pursuit of an eluding closeness. All in pursuit of the tremenda majestas ... of God our Aweful Majestic.
Do not dismay in "the drift." Close your eyes and listen. He is close. Intimacy stands, just over there. Simply reach, and hold.
Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.