The Surface and Depths of our Lives
We have a choice about what consumes us in our lives. The first half of our lives is often spent launching ourselves into adulthood, building a career, getting married/having children, establishing ourselves, getting as far as we can materially and professionally. We live out the cultural paradigms and, hopefully, thrive. I know that it is strange, but we often don’t find much, if any, fulfillment in doing things the cultural way. What do they have to do with who we really are? Who we were created to be? When I was growing up, there was talk about a mid-life crisis which often drove a man to go out and buy a sports car to bring new life into his own. But I really doubt if that helped with the longings that brought up the crisis in him.
We humans are all made in God’s image; we are given talents and interests that serve us; and we are each called by God to live a deeper truer life than our culture can imagine. And we were each born with a purpose that will bring total fulfillment to our lives, if we can put our lives in the hands of God who will heal and transform us, so that we free enough of the culture to live out the purpose to which He has called us.
I am sure that we have to live out what our culture has to teach us about life—the first part of our adulthood– but we also have to realize that its desires for us in the materialistic society we live in have nothing to do with who God created us to be. In fact, the very individualistic society we live in has nothing to do with the community of humans that God desires us to be. After all, community is what His kingdom is all about—loving God and the loving embrace of our neighbors and ourselves, but that is so removed from what our culture teaches–individualism.
I know that Covid-19 brought much disease and death into our midst, but it also brought time as we no longer had to commute to work. We had time to evaluate our lives, to think about what might bring more fulfillment into our lives. And there was time to change jobs, take online courses from pretty much all over the world. So many Americans changed jobs or rethought their careers or moved. Covid stirred so many of us to rethink our lives. I wonder about its long-term effects on children who spent months at home, doing school on line, without a classroom of other students around them. I know that it interrupted their learning as it was more difficult to connect to the lessons on line. How will that affect their adult lives and what they choose to do? It’s another interruption to the culture which so dominates us.
If the surface of our lives isn’t working, then we can plunge into their depths to see what God might want for us today and in the future. He designed/created us for a certain purpose in His kingdom. Won’t it be a joy to figure out, with His help, what that purpose might be? For me, I know that I loved being a wife and mother, in fact, that was my only ambition as I grew up. But the Lord had another purpose awaiting me as my children were launched and after my husband died. Just at the turn of the century, I started spiritual direction training which I finished the year after Hank died. But there was more to my purpose than being a spiritual director: I was to become a writer looking at life from the lens of a spiritual director—how do I, how do we, live this life in Christ? The Lord tricked me into becoming a writer which I had never envisioned for myself, by suggesting that I take Spanish lessons. It was in writing a paragraph every week in Spanish that, over time, I only wanted to write about living this spiritual life. So, as I moved to Charlotte NC from California to be close to my daughter and her four boys, I was beginning a bi-lingual blog about the life in Christ. Nine months later, my tutor, who was my Spanish editor, fell and couldn’t work anymore, so I dropped the Spanish and kept the English blog. That was in 2008. I’ve been writing it ever since. Now I’m starting on my fifth book about the one church of Jesus Christ.
I would not trade what I am doing now for any material thing that the ads say I have to have! I would not spend my time in stores and focused on making money so that I can have all that I want. I am content to live just taking care of my needs, giving what I can to others and then writing my books and blog.
What is your purpose as defined by God? What did He create you to be and to have you offer to the world? When will you turn your back on our capitalistic/materialistic culture and really begin to love God with all of who you are, all that you were created to be? You will be amazed at how complete your life feels, how wonderful it is to help others who may have suffered the same challenges or to just be in community with others, on a par with each, enjoying what each one has to offer and sharing your lives and wisdom and love of God with them? This is how love is supposed to be in our world, but seldom is.
Questions to ponder over the week: How content am I to live out God’s creation in me that is fulfilling and purposeful? Do I even know what my purpose is, as defined by God. What do I need to give up in order to realize who I am in Christ?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who are no longer just living in the world, but who are enjoying the depths of our being, as God created us to be, living out our purpose and enjoying the love, and joy and peace that our purpose brings to us. May we be love in this world expressed through our purpose.
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.