Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Brennan Manning: Do the Next Thing in Love

I’m reading Brennan Manning’s The Furious Longing of God, and several chapters in I’ve had a blinding flash of the obvious.

Manning is writing about what he calls God’s furious longing, but he is also writing about a furious longing of his own – a furious longing for god and a furious longing to demonstrate or live God.

His words in the chapter entitled “Union” suggest an urgency of both action and intent. At times his words seem almost breathless, as if he’s trying to say everything as quickly as possible because time is short.

And that is, perhaps, the point – the time is short. In our day-to-day existence time seems to stretch forever in front of us, until we get older and discover it’s moving faster. But as the idea of union with God takes hold in our hearts, minds, and souls, we discover that time is simultaneously eternal and short.

It’s with a sense of urgency that Manning writes one of the most striking sentences in the chapter, if not the book: Do the next thing in love.

A simple statement, it almost sounds like something Oprah or Dr. Phil might say. But Manning is speaking from a very different perspective. It might also be said this way: Do the next thing with God’s love, in God’s love, by God’s love, because you are the manifestation of God’s love.

“Love by its nature seeks union,” he writes. “With the grace of recognition comes the awesome and alarming awareness that Jesus, the incarnation of the furious longing of God, wants more than a close relationship with you and me; He seeks nothing less than union.”

That blessing flows outward; we can’t contain it. Wrapped in that blessing, we can’t help but do the next thing in love.

Led by Jason Stasyszen and Sarah Salter, we’ve been reading The Furious Longing of god. To see more posts on this chapter, please visit Jason at Connecting to Impact.


Dusty Rayburn said...

God's furious longing for us calls us to His passionate embrace and the life which pours forth from it.

One leads to the other.

Because He first loved us, we are enabled to love.

jasonS said...

That sentence captivated me as well. Jesus said the world would know us by our love for one another, yet so often we just don't get it. Okay, I just don't get it. Imagining a world and a life where I continually "do the next thing in love" is... I just have no words. Thanks Glynn.

Fatha Frank said...

I like how you described the pace of the chapter- urgent. Here are the words of someone so captivated by God's love he can't wait to tell us and is so in awe of it he struggles to describe it. He is literally bursting at the seams to tell us about God's love.

HisFireFly said...

the next thing
and the next
one after the other
a string of pearls
aglow with love

I love this!

nance said...

As Manning, I wish that the union was complete, and that we could live life in that way.
Why must we continue on in this brokenness and death?
This death that can be a final act of Love.
Why must we continue to accept the loss of ourself and this life?

Never truly able to be the Love that God is...we are called to give this Love.