As followers of Jesus Christ, we walk along the path He has chosen for us, we see issues coming to our attention for us let go of. These issues are the things in us that keep us from seeing and agreeing to what God wants for us. They are the things that have hurt us, sometimes mightily, when they happened. Whatever difficulties or challenges we have faced, these are the very things, along with our reactions to them, that we need to let go of. Then we can live in the present, instead of being tied to the past.
To be present, the cultural “have-tos” must go, any trauma or grief must be expressed, any objections to our life or to what has happened to you must be resolved. All this happens an issue at a time, with God’s help in dealing with it, as we prayfully lift each thing up to God.
Accepting who we are, all that we are, then frees us to be present to life/to God/to other human beings. We must be revealed to ourselves, just as we are, warts and all, in order to see clearly and to experience what is really going on in our lives, what Richard Rohr calls the “over-defended ego.”
Seeing the issues in us that limit who we are, conform us to the culture, make us outer oriented in our lives, allows us, with God’s help, to let them go. And as we let go of these truths about ourselves and our lives, we begin to feel lighter and lighter. After all, Jesus said that “the truth will set you free!” (John 8:32)
How often while someone else is talking, are we only half listening, while our minds are full of what we have to do next, or judging what the other is saying or focused on what we would do rather than listen to what the person is saying? Resting in the presence of God, we find our eyes opened to the truth of what is in us, of what we are seeing in others. And then our task is to reflect God’s love to the person/people we are with.
How very different our lives will be as we lift issue after issue up to God! As we lift up our own poor self-image, the things that haunt us, the goals our culture insists on, we will feel lighter and lighter and experience more and more of our deeper, truer selves which share space in us with the Indwelling Spirit of God.
Then, after we have shed a lot of these burdens in us, we will see our purpose arise in us, which is going to be the most fulfilling thing we have ever pursued. No matter what you have done before you are given your purpose, you will be so very engaged with it, dedicated to it, and totally fulfilled by doing it. Maybe you have been fulfilling your purpose all along, but now you are 100% engaged in it, whereas before there was much less involvement. Or maybe like me, you had no idea that you would be called to be a writer. God tricked me into becoming a writer by first, having me take Spanish lessons. After a year of studying with a tutor, she asked me to write a paragraph for each class. At first, I wrote about my life and my kids, but soon, all I wanted to write about was how we lead this life in Christ. As I moved to Charlotte NC two years later, I was starting a bilingual blog about following Jesus. Nine months later my tutor couldn’t work anymore, so I was left with a blog in English which I have published weekly since 2011. Since then I’ve written four books about the spiritual life. Never in my whole life did I think that I would be a writer!
Our purpose naturally grows out of some challenge that we’ve had in our lives, so that we can help others who are dealing with the same stuff. I never would have become a spiritual writer if I hadn’t been raised in a hell-fire-and-damnation church. It was dealing with the negativity I picked up there about God and myself that led me to become a spiritual director and then a writer. There are those in AA who have successfully given up drinking supporting those hoping to totally quit using alcohol in their lives. . Or a mother chooses to help other parents with disabled children after raising a disabled daughter who finally graduated from college in her mid-thirties. Or so many other examples.
To be present to our lives, to God, and to others is the ultimate way to live on Earth. How else will we be free of anything that doesn’t belong to us, free of the cultural norms and our own poor self-image, than to put them all into God’s hands for healing, for transformation into the people He created us to be?
Question to ponder over the week: How much do I live in the part, still so tied to whatever challenges and pain I experienced there? Am I willing to give all these difficulties up to God, one at a time, so that I am free to be who I was created to be? What attitude would I have to change in me that would enable me to let go of these past events?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who yearn to live in the present and seek God’s help to do that. May we let go of all that comes between us and God.
Check out my two websites: patsaidadams.com and deepeningyourfaith.com.
- I am giving away a 10-week journaling guide to Jesus’s Two Great Commandments. If you are interested, email me at email@example.com and I will email it to you, free of charge.
- My latest books, “Called to Help the Poor and Needy” and “A Study Guide to the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount” are now in bookstores and on line. The first is about the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible which detail God’s instructions for caring for those in need. The second is a journaling/pondering guide to Jesus’s most complete sermon.
 “Jesus Exposes the Shadow,” Fr. Richard Rohr’s daily emails, 1.24.23