Unsure to begin with, we then listen to such a wide and contradictory variety of loud, persuasive, voices:
- "You should be like this..."
- "Americans are supposed to be like this..."
- "Well, you say you're a Christian..."
- "Now you're associated with this group of people - then this is how you are..."
- "The really cool people – and we all want to be cool – act/think/speak/believe… this way..."
- "This is a corporate culture and it's important to fit in..."
- "A good citizen will stimulate the economy..."
- "A good American will think this way about the world..."
- "This is your station and you're expected to..."
- "You're English… American… White… College Graduate… A believer…A child of the 60's… … A school Teacher… A Republican… A Democrat…a conservative... Presbyterian… Catholic… Baptist… Atheist…
So in my personal journey I went through so much clearing out. It hurt a lot but it was good for me. And I grew by leaps and bounds - but even so always temporarily, because the honesty is supposed to be ongoing, and that has got to be pretty much a daily deal if you want it to really take. And besides, as we all know, the overwhelm can sneak in and stake its claim - subtle like - and the first casualty is almost always integrity.
This year, then (and now we're almost a month into 2009) I have made a conscious decision to try to be more proactive regarding the looking closely and being honest part. Or, as Jedi Master Yoda pointed out in Star Wars - "Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'" That's really my motivation behind this "A Life Examined" idea/process/witness.
That said, I really can't think of a better place to begin than at The Beginning – right there in the Gospel of John. "In him was life, and that life was the light of men." (John 1: 4)
More on the light probably tomorrow.
Joy and gratitude - DEREK