Consider all the ways we have learned to survive, to win, to meet approvals, to minimize rejection. Consider all the ways our childhood innocence was stripped away, as the “real world” taught us to blend in, and fit in. Or as Pink Floyd professed, Just Another Brick In The Wall.
Yet, our hearts hunger for healing, to live authentically, and to be truly free. We may tempt to numb it, and dull it via numerous escapes, such as work, drink, food, sport, play, and other people, but when we are alone, and allow ourselves to hear and feel our heartache, we know the sobering truth it calls us to.
As our minds begin to clear and the fog we’ve been living under lifts, we are faced with the realization we aren’t bullet proof, and that the brevity of life is a real thing. This brings us to a new crossroad. How shall we authentically live out our remaining days wisely and well?
I don’t know how we can make this life navigation apart from God. Though many try, it merely results in giving up one idol for another, one addiction for another, and one vain pursuit for another.
God knows our hearts best. He knows our true self, and wants us to live it.
Rather than being trouble free though, He makes it clear that it’s a life of trial with joy, a life of struggle with peace, and a life of adventure with love. It’s a pouring out of self that will empty us, while at the same time fill us, fuel us, and free us.
To help illustrate, a story is told of a man who sought the counsel of an old sage. He asked for the secret to a successful life, for despite all his achievements he still felt unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and a longing for more.
The old sage took him to the water, and held his head under. The man began struggling and fighting for air. It wasn’t until he almost reached the point of drowning did the sage let him up for air.
Gasping for breath the man begged for an explanation – why had the sage tried to drown him?
The old man answered, it isn’t until you want a meaningful life as badly as you wanted air will you find it.
Honestly, what desire is like air to you? (John 10:10).