I've considered how the word longing describes a state of being that's typically not brief or fleeting. We usually long for a person, place, event, or change for an extended length of time.
I can't help but wonder about all those years I spent preparing for a life of service to the inner city. I can't help but long for resolution. This isn't a hunter-gather society! This is a twenty-first century, first world, major metropolitan area. This is the second largest city in the USA; some estimate it's the most culturally and ethnically diverse geographical place that's ever existed. I'm trying to grieve yet trying to keep hoping that the sense of call I first responded to long ago and subsequently have put energy and love – and immeasurable time, extravagant expectations – into hasn't crashed and burned, after all. But we humans are experts at rationalization—too often so severe it amounts to lying. I won't attempt another short list or long list of my extensive preparation and countless failed attempts, nor will I post yet another affirmation of how well some aspects of my life are working.
But I can't escape the literally visceral, emotional, heartfelt longing I live with most of the time. I can't help but ask, "How long, God? Is there something out there for me? I've been in a condition of constant longing far too long..."