Lesson Three: Your Life Is Hidden with Christ

April 8th, 2020 by Dave Leave a reply »

Wednesday, April 8, 2020C

It is true that your life is not about you; rather, “your life is hidden with Christ in God. He is your life, and when he is revealed, you will be revealed in all your glory with him” (Colossians 3:4). 

Once our soul comes to its True Self, it can amazingly let go and be almost anything except selfish or separate. The True Self does not cling or grasp. It has already achieved its purpose by being more than by any specific doing of this or that. Finally, we have become a human being instead of a human doing. This is what we are practicing when we sit in contemplative prayer: we are practicing under-doing and assured failure, which radically rearranges our inner hardware after a while. And yet even in our pursuit of the True Self, we must be careful not to reject the parts of ourselves that are not there yet. The most courageous thing we will ever do is probably to accept that we are who we are. As Henri Nouwen once shared with me personally, he believed that original sin could only be described as “humanity’s endless capacity for self-rejection.”

All the truly transformed people I have ever met are characterized by what I would call radical humility. They are deeply convinced that they are drawing from another source; they are simply an instrument. Their genius is not their own; it is borrowed. They end up doing generative and expansive things precisely because they do not take first or final responsibility for their gift; they don’t worry too much about their failures, nor do they need to promote themselves. Their life is not their own, yet at some level they know that it has been given to them as a sacred trust. Such people just live in gratitude and confidence and try to let the flow continue through them. They know that love can be repaid by love alone.

In this time of crisis, we must commit to a posture of prayer and heart that opens us to deep trust and connection with God. Only then can we hold the reality of what is happening—both the tragic and the transformative. I am finding myself turning more often in these days to the simple Christian prayer of “Lord, have mercy.” From our place of humility, God can work through us to help our loved ones, neighbors and the most vulnerable. As Francis of Assisi said to us right before he died in 1226, “I have done what was mine to do. Now you must do what is yours to do.” [1]

In the spiritual life, what we think we are doing is actually being done to us. All we can do is say yes to it. This True Self is ironically much more glorious, grounded, original, and free than any self-manufactured person could be. We are interrelated with being, participating with the life of God, while living out one little part of that life in our own exquisite form. The True Self neither postures nor pretends. It comes down to this: the soul and the True Self know that “my life is not about me, but I am about life.”


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