I’ve often heard of the 4 “Pillars of Self-Care” (also called “Levels of the Self”/ “Aspects of Personhood” / “Facets of Wellness”) described as 4 legs on a table – you know, where if one of the legs is weak, the table is unstable? It’s an analogy I have loved and ascribed to for a long time, however, lately I have started to like to think of them more as passengers in a car… or maybe even more accurately, a 4 person tandem bicycle.
Do you feel far away from God? Like He is there but inaccessible? In your mind He exists, but He doesn’t really care? You’ve been trying, but failing, and an actual relationship with Him is starting to feel indistinct, inapproachable, and unattainable? Or, at best, like something “everyone else” will always have, but never you?
If so, this is for you.
Remember, we do not gain a relationship with God on the basis of sheer will power alone. We do not and cannot force Him to do anything, nor ourselves for that matter. So, its a good thing will-power, talent, and brute force aren’t required here. All we really have to do is show up like we mean it!
This post is about how to show up…
Are you wrong about your calling?
You think your calling is to do something, to be someone great (even if it is only great to one person). To change the world, or at least your corner of it. You think your calling is to a particular state in life, or to a particular job, to a particular place, or to spend your life with and for particular people. You spend time and energy worrying and wondering if you can or will ever measure up to this mysterious calling everyone says you have. It keeps you up at night, trying to figure out what it could be, or worrying about how good (or “bad”) of a job you are doing at living it.
I want to affirm you.
Your heart is good and you are absolutely doing your best.
You yearn for all that because you ARE made to do all those things. Your dreams are beautiful, holy even. But, there is a calling that 95% of the best intentioned people miss first, the calling that gives shape and form and purpose and clarity, and possibility to anything and everything else that might come afterward.
A rule of life? Well, that sounds boring and terrible… and maybe even a bit medieval. Where is the freedom, the spontaneity, the enjoyment? Maybe it’s all well and good for people in monasteries and such (do monasteries still exist?) but how could it possibly benefit me in, you know, in my normal life and in the present age?
Our modern “independent” sensibilities balk at the thought of “rules” of any kind. We want to rotundly reject them as oppressive and out-of-date and live on passion alone! But for us in our “normal life” and in this present age, your rule of life isn’t something written by an old man in the 5th century (necessarily)…