For a long time, I lived a life of avoidance. I sought refuge in my own ideals, in travel, and in all sorts of electronic media. Yet, in all my searching, I never encountered anything that could answer the deep hunger within me. I never found that perfect place or ideal community that I imagined. Despite all my attempts to fill the emptiness inside, it only grew.
After years of seeking, the Quaker community provided the prompting I needed to go deeper. Rather than searching for meaning out there, I discovered something amazing, hidden within – a life and power that drew me out of darkness and filled my emptiness with light.
This experience of God’s hidden power had effects that I never could have imagined. For so long, I had sought fulfillment in the perfect idea, community or place, but now I realized that I had never truly engaged life head-on. I wanted sweet without bitter, light without dark, pleasure without pain. I didn’t want relationship; I didn’t even really want the truth: I wanted satisfaction.
Lately, Jesus has been giving me an attitude adjustment. God is inviting me to experience life as it is, not as I wish it were. This world is both beautiful and full of pain; churning with energy and life, yet trapped in cycles of weariness and death. Before, I tried to avoid the bittersweet contradictions of our aching world. Now, though, I can sense the Spirit inviting me to participate fully in this messy, tangled web of relationships where true love happens.
- What are ways that you try to avoid life’s pain and messiness?
- Can you imagine accepting difficult people and situations with no strings attached?
- What could it look like to practice the unpredictable beauty of Christ’s love?