You won’t find the invitation in your mail box, or in an email. You won’t see it on a bulletin board somewhere or find it embedded in our culture. You will find it in the Bible although it’s meaning is often obscured by twenty-plus centuries of interpretation. You will for sure hear it in your heart of hearts, in the smallest, tiniest voice within. The reason it is so hard to find or hear is that it can be drowned out by the multitude of voices within each person, those voices of your family, the culture, your teachers, your peers, your religion, all the voices that were added on after you were born. You will find the invitation to real life from the One Voice only in the quiet, in the stillness, in that interior space where you can come to know your true self.
Deep within each of us hides our truest self, a shy self who can only be coaxed out into the light of day when it is truly welcomed. This is the created self which holds the agenda for our lives given to us by God so that we might live out our own unique destiny during our lifetime on this earth. The deep, soul self goes underground in our childhood because the culture and the parents are more interested in making the child fit in than in nurturing this true self. And so it hides until the person realizes that he/she is living an incongruent life, one that is unfulfilling. And so that person is invited by the true self and by its Creator to entertain a whole different kind of life than the one currently lived.
No matter what those inner voices and the ones outside of you are insisting on for you, if you begin to set them aside for a deeper, truer response to life, then you will realize that their “wisdom” no longer works for you, that what they are still trying to tell you is all about who you were as a child and what they were trying to teach you at that time. That’s still what they are trying to remind you of—lessons learned long ago. Once you begin to see that the louder voices within are no longer relevant to the situation now, that they belong solely to the past, you might then be willing to risk anything to follow the One Voice within and ignore all the rest.
It may take several or many tries at listening for that one voice; it may be a long time before you can be sure that it’s the right voice you are hearing. Rest assured it is there in each of us. I maintain that the One Voice calling us to what we were created to be needs to be tested for how well it works. If you are listening to the Inner Spirit, then every single time you follow that voice you will experience something that engages you, that affirms you, that works for the others close to you. Those closest to you may not like how you are changing at first, may resist the changes you are entertaining, but when you follow the Spirit, it does work out for everyone. As you model this inner journey, you are actually giving permission to others close to you to do the same. So the benefits to those around you are not just a more fulfilled you, someone who is easier to live with, but also a real enhancement of their own journey, too.
You will find as you begin to listen to the inner call that you’ll get immediate confirmation about whether this is the right voice or not. You will know immediately if you’ve got it right, there will be a settling in, an acknowledgement that “this” is working. If the opposite is true—that all kinds of roadblocks are meeting you, then you need to ask, to pray about what you heard and why it is so difficult.
It is often failure that brings us to this interior space, a breakdown of all that we thought life was about; or it may be curiosity—what am I missing? Why don’t I feel more engaged in life? It may be that you finally admit the longing within for something more. No matter why you begin this interior journey, from the moment that you do, you will begin to discover/uncover the real self that has languished underneath the appearance of life and love for all these years. Each step you take in listening to the still, small voice within is a step towards love, towards fully living life, towards the adventure that life really is, towards the fulfillment of all that you were created to be. It is my opinion that once you’ve taken a number of steps down this interior road and its expression in the outer life, you will not turn back. Ever. You will get hooked on the unfolding nature of your life and what the next step might be, all the while living in the very present moment, dealing with what that One Voice is bringing to you at this moment in time.
This journey takes you into the present moment, to experiencing life in the fullest possible way, to meeting the Presence in each moment, and awakening to the full potential of each moment as it is presented. It is in the present moment that we experience the fullness of God and the fullness of ourselves and whoever the other is that we are encountering. In the present moment you will find love, fullness, a sense of privilege at the same time feeling of being undeserving. Just one moment in the present leads us to want more and more of “that” in our lives. And each of those moments add up to the feeling that I or you would move heaven and earth to be there again. It is the feeling of aliveness, total aliveness, that is so compelling in the present. In that moment the next item on the agenda has no hold on us. We begin to move from moment to moment always in consultation with the One Voice within: what do I need to do now? And how might I go about it? What is the best choice for this moment?
This interior journey is an apprenticeship to the One who knows you better that any other, because this One created you and knows exactly what the next best step is for you at any moment in time. This Divine One will take you right into your deepest self and into communion with God/Christ/Spirit within. This is the journey of a lifetime and beyond. But it starts today with listening for that One Voice.