The Primal Drive for Life

By Dave Henning / January 4, 2023

“The epicenter of our being is the deep longing to aspire for things that bring us life, to plan for those things, to take hold of them, to enjoy them, and start the cycle over as we aspire toward new things.  This is the essential craving for life given to us by God.  Let’s call this capacity the Primal Drive for Life.”- John Eldredge

“Turn and answer me, O LORD my God!  Restore the sparkle to my eyes.”- Psalm 13:3 (NLT)

In his Introduction (“No Ordinary Moment”) to Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times, John Eldredge describes the Achilles heel of camels.  Camels walk a thousand miles with seemingly endless endurance.  However, camels give you little indication they are about to collapse.  Then it just happens.

Most significantly, human souls also hide an Achilles heel.  We possess an astonishing capacity to rally in the face of calamity and distress.  And while we rally and rally, one day we discover we have nothing left.  As a result, we collapse into discouragement, depression, or simply blankness of the soul.  As Laura van Dernoot Lipsky once told John, “As hard as the initial trauma is, it’s the aftermath that destroys people.”

Therefore, John underscores, our hearts need guidance and preparation to handle extraordinary times.  Thus, the author exhorts, you need to take the strength of your soul seriously.  In addition, he adds, you need a survival guide – not inspiration and cute stories.

In conclusion, John notes, this beautiful, powerful longing for things to be good again flows like an underground river below the surface of our awareness.  But when trials and heartbreaks wash in, this longing rises to the surface.  Like a whale using great momentum and force to surface for air.

Hence, it’s crucial how we shepherd this longing.  Because this longing is essential to our identity and the true life of our heart.  We must listen to that longing, guiding it in the right direction.

Today’s question: How do you listen to and guide the Primal Drive for Life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Evaporate in a moment – resilience”

About the author

Dave Henning

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