I don’t find it ironic that the way to God, through him, starts with The Way. The Way, indicates a path, a journey, that leads to The Truth, which produces The Life. In my short 24 year life, I have come to know that I am stumbling along the way, both on it, then off it, then hopefully, back onto it. In this stumbling, we find our radical need for grace and forgiveness, we need Jesus to show us how to walk this Way, so we may find the Truth, and, begin to live his life, The Life, out loud.
One of the great spiritual teachers of the 20th century was a man named Henri Nouwen. Nouwen beautifully proclaimed that “You don’t think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking.” We must learn that the right answers do not come from a life well thought, but, only in a life well lived. For what is true in action and life, must be true in thought. This is my struggle with those who need to have the right answers. How often do we meet people who have all the right answers, but, do have mystery? They see no beauty in the sunset and the rain. They do not laugh with the laughter of children and the disabled. And, yet the get angry over the confessions and politics of others. How has the Truth, set us free, when we do not love what God loves? Do we not love beautiful things? Do we not love the presence of others? Do we not love engaging conversation? Do we not love: faith, hope and love?
The truth of life, is that we see as we are. When we find the religious people of our day, the portrait of God they paint, is often as angry, pessimistic, dramatic and absent of hope as they are. Yet, when we find those vibrant people, when we encounter God, our eyes are opened to new possibilities and wonder. We have created space for God to give us new eyes to see and new ears to hear. Our old eyes and old ears gave us what we needed for a time, but, the journey requires the next step. And, even if the next step is a wrong one, which they can often be, the next step will have lessons of wisdom and truth, within it. And, those lessons always bring us a little closer to God.
Everything Belongs (a famous saying of Richard Rohr) in life. Our failures can teach us more than our successes. Our sins can teach us more than our obedience. Our darkness can give us more than our light. Even though success, obedience and light, is the desirable road, being fallen is an inevitable part of our humanity, and, God knows that. God know this is all part of the journey. The journey that brings you to him, so you may bring it back to the world like him.