The Life That Awaits You
6.22.20 “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” I am quoting Joseph Campbell, once a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College whose interest lay in comparative mythology and religion. He understood what living in two worlds means: the very human world and God’s kingdom. It is the human world that shapes the plans we have for our lives and it is God that shapes the life that is waiting for us, the one He created us to have.
Our willingness to surrender our plans to God’s plan for us begins our journey into the depths of our being, to the very nature of who we were created to be. Have you any idea what that life might be for you? Are there talents and interests that you have that are unexpressed and unexplored? Are you unaware, like I was, of what you might be capable of? There was nothing in my life that said I should become a spiritual director and a writer about the spiritual life. I was only aware of my tremendous desire to be a mother. Beyond that I had no idea.
The saving grace in my life was growing up in a hell-fire-and-damnation church. As awful as that was for me, it was the motivation for my search for a God I could love, and, later, as I surrendered my life to Him, and followed His suggestions to me, He began to reveal who I might become. The first break in my view of me in the world came with this thought: “I have an agenda for my life.” That was a shocking statement to me, because I had no idea who the “I” was who had an agenda, much less what that agenda might be. But it was a wake-up call for me, so in any situation I began to ask myself the question, “What do I really want to do? Instead of “What should I be doing.” And the answers to that question began to reveal the self beneath my world-conditioned self.
Now as I look back on my life, I can see God’s footprints everywhere in my life, leading me eventually to my true purpose. The training to be a spiritual director focuses on three things—what the other person is saying, what the Holy Spirit is saying and how am I reacting to them(because directees always bring up your own issues.). I was taught to set aside how I was reacting to reflect on at another time and to just focus on the other person and the Holy Spirit. Learning how to hold those two voices has deeply connected me to other people as well as to the Indwelling Spirit of God. And because of that, I can rely on God’s voice to direct me in all that I do. And so I’ve written a blog on living the life in Christ in the 21st century for twelve years; I’m researching my fourth book, this one on slavery in the world; and I am now writing my blog posts just before I post them instead of weeks ahead. The coronavirus has brought me right into the present with the Lord whispering what I am to write today, for this week.
That’s my story so far, and yet I cannot say what my future will bring. Only the Lord knows that, and I am content to follow His lead in everything. Willingness…surrender…that is the way to the true self that awaits you. Take the first step: turn back to God and let Him lead your life.