I often say, I think we’ve got it all wrong. For example, take the words of Sirach 24:18-21: Come to me, all you that yearn for me, and be filled with my fruits; you will remember me as sweeter than honey, better to have than the honeycomb. She who eats of me will hunger still, she who drinks of me will thirst for more; She who obeys me will not be put to shame, she who serves me will never fail.
In a sense, this quote is telling us, the journey does not stop. It is saying that desire should never find fulfillment, and that as long as we desire, we shall want more. The words bring to mind that neediness is not shameful, but useful. The concept is counter to what most of us want. I want my desire to find fulfillment. I want to stop the wandering, the searching, the inquire for answers. And yet, Sirach says, we should hope to never be satisfied, but instead to always thirst for more.
I think Sirach is telling me that loving God should not be a a plateau I arrive at, and are then content to let it be. It is telling me, or even warning me, that the God thing is a tangible and satisfying affair, one that makes my heart beg for more.
I think the last line in this quote tells me the most. It doesn't say, she who serves me will succeed, but she who serves me will never fail. There is a huge difference. Success can be personally satisfying, self-fulfilling achievement. It can also be, in a sense, the end of my journey. And while a sojourner on this earth, my journey continues. By saying I shall never fail, the writer is in effect acknowledging my need to continue on. In a way, the writer is addressing the realism of life, my ups and downs, my doubts as well as my faith.
And so, I understand that, in all that happens, nothing need spell failure. Because I never need to stop. I can continue on, and thirst for more.