I had plenty of time to read the other day when I was traveling from Charlotte to Ithaca. I spent many hours in the airports, with three short flights in between. I finished the Introduction and read the first chapter. I made myself stop after that though. Partly because I don't want to read way beyond what I am blogging about and partly because sitting around airports had made me very sleepy.
Mark tells the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. He tells how they walked with Jesus and tell him all about how Jesus was crucified and now His body is missing. Jesus says, "how foolish you are and how slow of heart." Then goes on the explain the Scriptures of how He had to die to fulfill the prophecies. Then as they have arrived at Emmaus and are eating and Jesus blesses the food they recognize Him. Then He disappears. They say that when He was speaking didn't their hearts burn within them.
Our relationships with Jesus can often be the same as these disciples. He walks the road with us, we are looking right at Him but don't recognize Him. He opens up the Scriptures to us. Then the scales finally fall from our eyes and we see Him. And sometimes we, just like the disciples, say, "didn't our hearts burn within us?"
That is what Mark says our heart condition is like today, well during the stuck in the borderland part of it. Our condition is slow and burning. "The burning heart keeps us going on the journey. The slowness of heart makes the journey wearisome. A burning heart inspires us to run. A slow heart discourages us sometimes from even trudging. And sometimes it tempts us to run, yes, but away....It will usually call for resting when we think we should be striving, and wrestling when we just want to sleep." (I figured I couldn't say it better.)
I don't know about you, but I know exactly what Mark is talking about. I have been there, more often then not. Maybe that is why I felt a longing to read this book again. There are times when I feel so stuck. I want to want more of God. I know I need Him, more of Him. That might be the problem. I "know" I need more of Him. It needs to move more from being something I want in my head to something I want more in my heart.