Monday, January 31, 2011

The Last One

I don’t know what to do with The Last Sunday. So, I’m going to do what I’ve been doing on all the previous Sundays and trust you to take what you want and leave the rest behind.

Nothing is more important than finding and serving your own destiny. Destiny? Did somebody say Destiny? That’s too restrictive! Too limiting! We want to be free to do what we want when we want for as long as we want and then do something else we want. Destiny locks us too much into a life not of our own choosing. But that’s how it is with destiny. We do not choose our destiny, our destiny chooses us like the wand chooses the wizard. It is a radical, subversive, thing to seek and serve our destiny.

Destiny? Oh well, whatever. How 'bout those Packers? Those Steelers? Let's go bowling, Dude. Destiny doesn’t have a chance with us. Our eyes are on other things.

The right of the people to seek and serve their own destiny shall not be infringed! Where has that ever been decreed? We can’t have people serving their own destiny. It would wreck the economy. Tell them to go shopping. Forget their destiny. They should buy whatever makes them happy.

What does happy have to do with it? In returning the ring to the fires of Mount Doom, Frodo is not happy. In serving the Force and resisting the powers of the Dark Side, Luke is not happy. In sitting beneath the Bodhi Tree and refusing the pleasures of the world, the Buddha is not happy. In taking the path with his name on it to Gethsemane and Golgotha, Jesus is not happy. What makes us happy is not the guide to life. Life asks hard things of us.

What sacrifices are we willing to make for the sake of The Beam, the path, the way with our name on it, the life that is our life to live? Sacrifices? Did someone say Sacrifices? We are not interested in sacrifices. We just want to know how to get things to go our way.

Our life is trying, dying, to get our attention. We walk on, unseeing, seeking ends that are pleasing to us. What do we know? Only what we like and don’t like, want and don’t want. That’s no help when it comes to living the life that is ours to live. Who would want to do that? But we are not exactly left in the lurch. There is That Which Knows what is life for us and what is not, That Which Keeps Calling Our Name: Over here! This way! But we walk on. We create our own lonely lurch by walking on.

We aren't here to get things to go our way. What do we know? We are here to go the way that is The Way, the path, the beam, for us. The good news is that it is never too late to start living the life that calls our name, that is our life to live. It is never too late to embrace our destiny. The most important question at any point in our life is "Now what?" What needs to be done here and now? What calls our name here, now?

Our destiny is not some grand conclusion, some glorious achievement. Our destiny is bringing forth who we are in the mundane moments of our lives. Our destiny expresses itself, comes forth, in our response to each situation as it arises, in who we show ourselves to be in each moment. We become who we are in listening to what calls our name in each situation, each moment, as it unfolds before us, and offering our gifts there as needed. Each moment, each situation, offers us another opportunity to align ourselves with our destiny and become who we are, then and there, here and now.

Do you have it in you to be who you are, where you are, when you are, how you are? Not who you would like to be. Not who you wish you were. Who you are. Become who you are! Can you? Can you do it? Can you hand yourself over to yourself? Can you trust yourself to your own sense of direction no matter where the trail goes? Alexis Carrel says we cannot remake ourselves without suffering, for we are both the marble and the sculptor. We are entirely up to us, but every moment calls us forth anew.

Is it a white rabbit, or a red herring, or a wild goose? It takes going to know. We will learn a lot no matter what we follow. We don't know where we are going, what we are doing. Fooling ourselves is what we do best. Are we going or not? Anyone can stay home, safe in the comfortable routines and familiar patterns of life. It's a fool who leaves home searching for home. Are you coming or not? Our life wants to know. Is dying to know.

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