I love the intensity of a person who is seeking the truth. The openness, the curiosity, the humility, the sudden flash of understanding, the questions. There’s an endless thirst there that is admirable, stirring, almost naive, bursting with wonder.
It has nothing to do with being Atheist-Muslim-Hindu-Jewish-Buddhist-Pagan-Wiccan-Christian-Whatever.
It has everything to do with posture, attitude, the ferociousness of sculpting out a fresh identity, the fascination of a soul on fire, connecting new things for the first time and still treating old things like they’re new. The discipline, the digging deep, the thrill of revelation and epiphany.
There’s a deep sadness over people who lose that spark. I see it in their eyes. It’s not so much that they don’t care for the truth — but that they lost interest in seeking it. They call it too hard, or too much, or settle for something less. In turn they’d rather not hear anything about themselves either: good, bad, or ugly.
The walls rise, the fog drops, and the fire is put out. A wasted mind.
At some point they just gave up; their conversations full of shallow, surface, thoughtless, bland statements that have nothing to do with anything. The only urgency is for what time the movie starts.
I can’t help but think, You used to be a better version of yourself.
This isn’t about looking back on your glory days or a race for self-achievement, but just missing out. For tons of nonsense reasons.
Maybe a girlfriend or boyfriend hijacked your brain and every other relationship from you. You’ve become a zombie for sex and romantic chemistry and codependency.
It could be drugs, or porn, or alcohol that’s turned you inward, isolated, hollowed out.
The mindless partying scene, all drama and gossip and machismo.
Buying more, moving up, kissing butt, selling your soul for what C.S. Lewis calls the “Inner Ring.”
Maybe you got hurt bad, betrayed, provoked, and you swore you’d never open up again.
It could be your blog, your internet image, your public face, pretending to be someone you think God loves.
Whatever poison you chose, it’s making you not you.
This isn’t a moral issue, as if avoiding drugs and drama is the solution. No one finds themselves by what they don’t do, nor do they find themselves just by what they’re doing. This is about who you are becoming: the whole you, thoughtful and true.
I’m deeply grieved over friends young and old who could be more with their gifts, talents, time, skills, abilities, personalities, hearts, and minds — as if you had not a clue of all the incredible possibilities. That’s not a pragmatic thing. Not a do-more-stay-busy thing. This is the sacred mission given by God, the purpose for which we were bought by His blood and redeemed.
Everywhere in the Bible there are men and women who were almost great. Certainly this isn’t about them, nor is it about being great, nor do I endorse perfection, and of course God was still glorified. I know that God is so merciful He will work in our faults and failures.
Still — I wonder how different it could have been otherwise. Is it possible we can miss blessings? Must we take these painful roads to learn of our potential? Or do we make irreversible mistakes that God must course-correct for His plans to succeed? Is it possible we interrupt the Will of God and He must, like a doting father over a baby, begin to shift the world around us for our good?
We don’t know all that. I don’t conclude that blessings are like power-ups in a video game to be found in every corner, or that God is a deus ex machina-like construction crane who dives in to re-arrange us. But I am absolutely certain that we have a responsibility, and that God’s merciful hand is not an emergency exit door for our blunders. His mercy is more reason to be all His, not less.
I’ve sometimes thought that no matter what I do, God has to overlook it in love. That could be true. He’ll still be glorified. But I believe God would rather glorify Himself through me and through you. That He even chose us is crazy. That He continually chooses us is too much to bear.
If He’s going to flex Himself through an incompetent, insufferable, insubordinate nobody like me, then I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to miss what God is doing. It makes no sense to close my eyes and plug my ears during the best part of the movie, or rollercoaster, or my wedding.
I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want to trade His love and joy and grace for some earthly trinket that will gouge me out into a sorry version of myself. Goodbye to those lesser things. Don’t wait on it: to be seeking, digging, unearthing, and asking those questions.
We can’t stop thirsting. He is a deep well; let’s drink.