One of my favorite parts of every church service with Father Mark was the way it always started. After the initial song and a welcome he asked us to pause, bow our heads, and call to mind the gap between who we are and who we are called to be. That moment of reflection helped to set the tone for the rest of the service as it was truly humbling to see that gap. The realization that there was much work to do helped me to open up learning how I could better live the life The Big Dude Upstairs wants me to lead. Through the readings and the sermon I’d often catch a nugget or two of how I could live differently that would lead me to living more into that image.
As I listened to my book, Love Does, on my drive to work early in the morning I couldn’t help but hear those words of Father Mark ringing in my ears… “Let’s call to mind the gap between who we are and who we are called to be.” The author, Bob Goff, shared several incredible stories of just trusting the pull of the Universe towards directions we may not have initially wanted to go.
There are often many times when I get the sense I’m meant to do something other than what I want, but I sometimes resist and push back. Case in point is a conversation I had with another pastor that hit home and got something stirring within me but I’m just not willing to let go yet. Without even going grand there are so many little moments when I have a choice to make. I usually know the right choice, but I often make the wrong choice. Nothing illegal or crazy or anything, but those little decisions that can add up and make a real difference. Should I listen to a book that will help me grow or a podcast that purely fills my time? I’m thankful I at least chose this right this morning as it led to more moments of insight for me!
While listening to his stories I heard Bob talk about situations in which I would love to think that I would have done the same thing, but in many cases I have not. In my heart I knew they were the right things, but something within me (usually ego driven) got in the way. Sometimes it was a realization of just how focused on a couple of small goals Bob must’ve been in order to accomplish them… a stark contrast to my going in many (too many?) directions sometimes. All of these moments made me feel like I was tripping on that gap the Father Mark talked about.
In some ways that brutal realization of the gap was a bit painful. That said, I found it oddly peaceful and hopeful as well. In knowing and realizing the gap I can find ways to focus on it and close it. By tripping on it I was reminded of it and the work I need to do to shrink it. As I was seeing the gap, having it put directly in my line of sight, I was able to start working on it. What a beautiful gift!
I find it’s usually uncomfortable to see just how much I’m letting others and The Big Dude Upstairs down at times. While there is discomfort there such a beautiful gift in seeing how to become better and live more into the person I am meant to be. That is well worth the discomfort any day in my book.