A friend of mine said that to me once, in a tone that implied, “but surely you know that?!” And I didn’t, and it hit me with quite some force, and the only thing I could think was, “then what the hell have I been doing for all these years?!”
The ‘should’ still hangs around, the sword over my head, if you will. The things we are taught and take in as children are, I think, pretty impossible to get rid of. We can learn to look at them differently but there will always be this museum of childhood truths in our minds and hearts and if we’re not careful, the artifacts of the exhibition become part of our life again.
I am wondering today. Wondering if the ‘should’ is part of the discernment. “If God loves me so much as She showed me these last years, then shouldn’t I…”
The more God loves me, the more I try to ‘pay her back’? Even the balance? Because I’ve learned that love never comes free?
There have always been obligations tied to love in my experience. And I may know, in my mind more than in my heart, that this is not what God’s love is like; but that’s it, isn’t it. The heart doesn’t know it yet, not fully, not enough. God wants mercy, not sacrifice… We have been saved, it’s done. Why keep trying to ‘deserve’ it? Guilt spirituality. Completely misguided.
How free is my Yes to God? Do I know that I have every choice, every chance, to live life differently? No. No I don’t. But what is pulling me towards my response to God’s call – love, or obligation?
If it isn’t love, 100% of it, then it’s not the time. Then we need more time together, God and I, before I know. Obligation is not what God wants. God wants the same I want – passion. Delight. Enthusiasm… (=via late Latin from Greek enthousiasmos, from enthous ‘possessed by a god, inspired’ – based on theos = ‘god’)
And in the end, even if my response is 100% love and no ‘should’, it still doesn’t mean I have to become a nun/Sister. Maybe this is the true expression of who I am, maybe it is the best life I can have and maybe it is the life I want and the life God wants for me. And maybe it isn’t. God’s free love for me encompasses every direction my life can take.
What do I want? What is the truth? What does happiness mean for me?
For now, Grace, give me patience and peace and your goodness, so I can know you and know myself.