“what mattered was utterly timeless. it was the thing that had compelled them to fight for the trail against all odds, and it was the thing that drove me…it had nothing to do with getting from point A to point B. It had only to do with how it felt to be in the wild.” -Wild by Cheryl Strayed
to be human is to wrestle with our earthly existence . with our feet firmly bound to this solid ground…yet with hearts that long and wander- and desperately try to make sense of things . all the while, trying to figure out who we are meant to be.
i write a great many words about what matters to me. some of it-quite a lot of it- is nonsense. but i give myself permission to write fragments and nonsense- because that’s the journey of getting to the good stuff. the clarity comes only by sorting through the muck and by getting all the “wrong words” out first. that’s how i discover what my heart really wants to say.
and so it is with living. and not just living with the sole purpose of arriving, but living so as to become whole, fully us, and filled with the knowledge of God’s glory deposited in us.
getting there will look different for each of us , and that is okay. because God doesn’t operate on a “time frame” or a demand from us to always get it right.
He gives us permission to be weak and uncertain as we set out on this journey of discovery.
then He meets us in the battle , in the failing, in the searching, in the exploring, in the coming-up-empty, and in the getting good and lost. knowing that the path to “finding” is seldom a straight and narrow line.
and just like any good story, there needs to be some wandering, near-misses and facing those personal demons before there is ever resolve.
how boring would The Lord of The Rings trilogy be if the Hobbits weren’t fearful and flawed. if they made only the best decisions and came out victorious in every battle…high-fived each other and got in line at the cupcake shoppe.
that’s never how life really goes..right ?! if there was no getting lost, no near misses and no dilemmas-we wouldn’t cheer so whole heartedly for the courageous triumph !!
i find that i’m always drawn to authors who tell it like it really is. they aren’t afraid to admit mistakes and they don’t sugar coat the pain of the journey. they write the raw kind of stories that touch something deep in me, that part of me that needs permission to sort through my nonsense and frailty…the kind that invite me into the hard, courageous work of finding myself. and don’t we all need grace and permission to find ourselves in this life? i think it’s what our weary hearts need to hear more often.
after all, we are just human. and as much as we might dislike it, we can’t disown it. in fact, the harder we try to run from it, the more it haunts us. we cannot escape the pains of being made of flesh and blood…wrought through with weakness, errancy and imperfection . instead, we must make peace with the fact that we are souls trapped in this delightfully vulnerable skin…as author Glennon Melton puts it, “it turns out : I’m just human. This has been a relief and disappointment. Most addicts suspect we’re subhuman or superhuman. Nope, fully human. Messy and complicated…”
then comes the hardest part. the embracing. the letting ourselves off the hook and forgiving our humanness…all that messy and complicated nonsense. letting ourselves be weak and believing that somehow in our weakness, Jesus strength is more complete. huh ? can it be true that the journey is never about getting it “right” but in fact, discovering that His strength is what gives us permission to be imperfect. and begin to see that through Him our very incompleteness is made complete…go ahead take a minute to re-read that last part. crazy. but true.
My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into it’s own in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 The Message
and since He is enough…we don’t need to fear our being not enough. now take that big sigh of relief. exhale with those human lungs and breathe in His holy, perfect grace.
the story of Wild isn’t pretty but it is honest. it isn’t a Christian story but it stirred me to the core with it’s message of redemption and of the beautiful recount of life on the Pacific Crest Trail. it’s the story of a girl who traveled very far from home to find herself. in fact she traveled 1,100 miles on a two foot wide trail to figure out who she could be and who she always had been..but had gotten lost somehow along the way.
most of all it reminded me that God is less concerned about perfection and more concerned about brokenness. in Him there is always freedom to wrestle and press in , even get a little lost now and then, as we are finding our way in this one wild life.
Father grant us mercy in the journey of “becoming” and keep reminding us you are made complete in our incompleteness. one step at a time. xxoo jamie