Saturday, February 1, 2014

When I can't help it

When Hans walks by my computer and sees pictures of food and recipes, he knows my mental mode: fried. As in, tired out, exhausted. One night, as I was nursing Khesed and mindlessly clicking around, a good friend posted this quote by Oscar Wilde on Facebook:
It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.

Like a splash of cold water to my sleepy soul. I needed that.

What will I be when I can't help it? This question sent shivers up my spine. What is my soul made of? What am I feeding my mind? When I am old and senile, or when the filter of my brain can no longer filter what comes out of my mouth, what kind of person would I be?

What would I love? What would I live for?

Food, apparently. Perishable and temporary. This is not good.

I quickly closed the food and wine windows on my desktop. Click. Click. Click.

Right then, something caught my eyes. Augustine spoke into my night.
But what do I love when I love my God? . . .
Not the sweet melody of harmony and song;
not the fragrance of flowers, perfumes, and spices;
not manna or honey;
not limbs such as the body delights to embrace.
It is not these that I love when I love my God.
And yet, when I love him, it is true that I love a light of a certain kind, a voice, a perfume, a food, an embrace...

when my soul is bathed in light that is not bound by space;
when it listens to sound that never dies away;
when it breathes fragrance that is not borne away on the wind;
when it tastes food that is never consumed by the eating;
when it clings to an embrace from which it is not severed by fulfillment of desire.
This is what I love when I love my God.
Augustine, Confessions (transl. Pine-Coffin), X, 6.


Like a stream of clear water to a parched soul. I needed that.

That would be nice. To love God when I can't help it.

Please help me, Lord.

Soul, eat food that is never consumed by the eating.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
 Paul, Second Letter to the Corinthians, 10:3-5.


Teyen Chou said...

Hi Irene, thanks for this blog post. This is actually something that I've been reflecting too as I finish my last year of college. The Augustine quote you shared... shivers down MY spine! (:

Irene Sun said...

Hi Teyen, Thank you for reading! =) What are your plans after college?

Serenely said...

Food... I'm often checking out recipes too. But it's usually because I'm constantly trying to crack my head over WHAT to cook for breakfast, lunch, dinner. 3 times a day, 365 days a year... well, 90% of the time over year at least.

But my fallback reads when I'm in that mindless mode are craft and sewing and instagram feeds.

I do want to learn to be hungry for that which does not perish, or fades away or temporal.

I needed this too.

Irene Sun said...

Serene - I agree, I read food blogs for ideas too. =) Hans actually commented that when he sees me studying a recipe, he looks forward to trying something new. Even so, I confess to much mindless clicking, especially when I am tired. At the end of the day, perhaps it not so much WHAT I am reading, but WHY I am reading it. So good to hear your thoughts, Serene. =)