“What good would it do
to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?” – Jesus
Jesus asks the most profound questions. This maze of life is complicated by
options. Self-discovery is hard enough,
but all the choices and our reckless distractibility make losing the real you a
Jesus talks about getting everything we
want. These days we
so much – we live in an era of rising expectations. But the stuff we want and the very act of
wanting it takes us sideways, far from a
Master who said, “Don’t run from suffering, embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to find
yourself.” (Read Luke 9 to hear Jesus’
instructions on the matter)
This is the paradox of Jesus’ promise of abundant life. To find it, we have to lose it. To live, we have to die. To arrive first, we have to go to the back of
the line. To be in charge, we must
None of this goes down easily in a society where
self-promotion is a way of life (for example, consider the process of putting
together a resume), and of course the idea of perpetually wanting more than we
own is what drives the economy to grow.
Have you found the “real you”? Do you know what Jesus thinks of you and who
he has called you to be? Or, having
found that, are you in a space in your life where you feel your grip on your
identity being loosened?
I go through those phases all the time. In seasons of extreme busyness like the one I
am in now, it’s not so much the
that distracts me. Rather, it’s the
doing that throws me far down
that maze leading away from Jesus and his call.
I’ve watched friends lose their way in that maze, responding
to some nameless hurt and taking a wrong turn, going far down a dead-end path of
bad habits that turn into addictions that, in turn, spiral down to shame and then
depression. The irony is that, while they
feel so isolated, while it seems as though the enemy of their souls and all
his tormentors has rigged it just for them, that path they’re on is actually
well-worn, traveled by so many others.
When I find myself lost and estranged from myself, I need to
make Jesus’ words my touchstone. Am I
sacrificing? Am I suffering? Am I following Jesus? And if I’m not following him, am I even
listening for his voice?
Often times, quieting my anxious heart and distracted mind
are the first steps in finding the part of me that has felt lost.