Is the Life You are Living the Life that Wants to Live In You?
We have entered into the season of Lent. For thousands of years Christians have used this forty-day period leading up to Easter as a time to examine our lives, our relationship with God, and ultimately our faith.
The forty days (not including Sundays) reminds us of the 40 years the children of Israel spent in the wilderness after their exodus from Egypt. It also commemorates the forty days Jesus spent in the desert between Jericho and the Dead Sea, where he was tested by the devil. It is certainly no time for the timid. Lent is the time to ask the most difficult questions we can about our lives: who we are; what it means to be people of faith; who God is calling us to be; what we value and hold most dear.
A number of years ago I was in the midst of a difficult time in my life. I felt stuck, frustrated, confused. I remember sitting down and trying to explain it to a friend. I told her I was searching for something, I just wasn’t’ sure what. “More than anything I just want to be…” but I couldn’t find the word. It wasn’t that I wanted to be happy, comfortable, and content. Those words didn’t quite capture my longing. “Authentic?” my friend blurted out. In that moment it was as if I’d been humming a tune that I couldn’t quite place song, but she began to sing it!
I wanted to be authentic. Genuine. Real. Present. Alive. Fully awake in this world. Fully here. It wasn’t that I wasn’t alive – I was living, I just had the profound sense that the life that I was living was not the life that wanted to live in me.
I wanted to be human, in the fullest sense of the word, which means that I am truly in touch with my Spirit – that piece of divinity that’s been placed within me. And I wanted to that part of me to be in touch with that piece of the divine that has been placed within those around me.
I knew that this journey was going to take risk. I also knew that I had no other choice.
As Joseph Campbell, one of the greatest writers on matters of faith and spirituality once said, “the spiritual imperative to be our selves is so strong that the soul would rather fail at its own life than succeed at someone else’s.” That’s where I was.
Perhaps you feel the same way, and share the same longings. Maybe there is a tugging within you that leads you to feel the life you are living is not the life that wants to live in you. That you are done pretending. That God has bigger dreams for you.
If so, my prayer for you during this season of Lent is that you will find the courage and the strength to ask the difficult questions. That you’ll do the hard work of the soul to discover your true self; that you’ll find your own unique path – the one the God has just for you. And that you will begin, perhaps for the first time in your life, to fully live.
Peace to your Lenten path,