Our longing to be united to You is the wellspring of all else that goes on in our spiritual lives. It is a longing that is like that generated by being away for a long time from someone you love. You know they are there. You might even stay in touch by writing letters over a long period of time, but you just can’t see them or touch them.
In my late teens and early 20’s I was away from those closest to me for long periods of time. I would write regularly. I would think about them often and would long to see them again. This strong urge to be together with those we love is a form of the same longing we nurture to be together with You. One cannot help but speculate that if, indeed, absence makes the heart grow fonder, what takes place when the absence is removed should be fulfilling. But on a human level we know it is not. When we are once again united with those for whom we longed we fade back into urges to be “away” for awhile. Often what, in our imagination, we thought we missed most was never really there in the first place.
This doesn’t seem to apply to You in the same way because You are always, to varying degrees, distant from us and thus our imaginations are constantly churning about that union. The vicissitudes in this process are not in the lover (You) but in the loved one (us). That is to say that we are obliged by our nature to live in a state of on-again-off-again flux in regards to our longings.
On a human level, when we reach the end point of our longing, that longing ceases and is replaced by another. Since, during this life, we never reach that end point with You, the longing never ceases and it drives us to somehow move closer to that union.
The only complete and enduring satisfaction and fulfillment of all our restless longings will be to rest in that beyond which there is nothing else. Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.