Life is lived on two levels in this world whether we are aware of the second one or not. Our lives are like the ocean in which all the waves, choppiness, white caps and agitation take place in the top fifteen feet; below this surface busyness flow long, slow currents, for us, the longer arcs of our lives. Our inner state of being of peace and trust or agitation and anxiety are created in the arena of life with which we identify—the surface busyness or the longer, slower currents.
So captivating is the surface busyness that we often live our whole lives without realizing that there is another dimension to life. And even if we do know about it, that does not necessarily mean that we identify with the slower, truer nature of life—the soul, the interconnectedness of all life, the Creator of all life and his continued participation in it. We often don’t know that we are intimately connected to all peoples, because on the surface what we see are the differences, the sometimes stark divisions between us and them. The scientific evidence clear doesn’t support our views: “All humans are 99.9% identical,” states the Daily Telegraph quoting from the journal “Science” article on DNA differences among people.
Clearly, we who live on the surface of our lives are missing important information that would change how we view other people, other populations. As long as we stay on and identify with the surface of our lives, we will live in this kind of ignorance. We miss out on the richness life offers us when viewed from beneath the surface busyness. How long will we continue to be charmed by the noise and distractions of the surface world and ignore the deeper, life-filled realities of life? Would you be willing to not just entertain these ideas, but to seek them out, to understand their implications, to live your life in deep identity with them?
So what are these longer arcs of our lives?
1. Our purpose is implied in the highly individualized package of talents and interests and challenges that make up a person. Are you aware of what your true purpose might be, the one that was built-in at your conception?
2. Our education does not stop with the end of high school or college, but continues as life continues to inform us through the challenges that arise for us and how we meet them. Are you a student of life and all that it offers you? Do you take each difficult passage and see that it has a lesson in it for you to learn?
3. Our soul is deeply tied to our Creator, speaks his voice within us, keeps inviting us to God’s agenda for us. Are you aware of the call of the soul to your true nature? Can you distinguish the voice of soul/God within? Have you tried any of the suggestions or hints and how did that go for you? Or are you well down that road to integrity, wholeness, love and peace?
4. Long-term relationships—children, spouse, family, long-time friends—sustain us and give us a home here. Are you grateful for these people in your life, companions on your journey? Are you embracing them or pushing them away? Have you told them what they mean to you?
5. Our life’s work is another longer arc of our lives. This work could be the same as purpose or your purpose could lie in how you do anything, say with creativity or with love. Can you name what your life’s work is? Has it taken hold of your life beyond what you ever thought it would mean?
Life lived at the deeper levels means that we are more engaged, more fulfilled, experiencing more peace and joy and love, the fruit of the Spirit.[Galatians 5:22-3] Embracing the longer, slower patterns of life means that we are more in touch with our souls, our purpose, our fulfillment. We are experiencing the deeper, richer dimensions to life. We can be in this world and yet stay true to our deeper selves, to our own calling.
Don’t be one of the people who arrive at the end of his/her life whose soul has pretty much atrophied along the way from lack of attention, one who has chosen to live in the distractions of life not in its substance, who has missed the meaning of her existence, who does not know his deeper, truer self. The average depth of the seven oceans is 14,000 feet or 2.65 miles; the deepest part of these waters, the Challenger Deep, is a part of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean at 36,000 feet or 6.8 miles. Within us, too, are depths and more depths. Will you explore some of them going deep into yourself, into your deep soul-self? Would you allow Christ to lead you into your own depths?
Questions to ponder over the week: Do I just want to stay on the surface or am I willing to be led into my own depths? What holds me back? Am I more dependent on my own resources or on the Lord? How can I live into totally trusting the Lord and the journey with him?
Check me out on You Tube
Videos; “Be Peace Now” and “Jesus’ Message in a Nutshell”
Audios: “Why we can’t feel God’s love” and “Let’s not start with the rules.”