All I've ever wanted to do in life, when my head has been on straight, but still in the core of my being nonetheless, has been to give myself completely to something greater than myself.
All my greatest fantasies, my most compelling imaginations, have been to become a part of something greater for the sake of that which is greater. Whether to join a monastic community, a guild of some sort, where I could sit at the feet of the masters and practice a craft which will help others to live and love more fully, even if it meant just a mechanical or electrical trade, instead of some kind of engineer. If digging graves was all it was, then may others rise to a greater love because of it. But I've held myself to keeping fantasies as just that: fantasies. So, when something real and true came along, when someone who did finally capture my heart came along and I found myself hoping for marriage to this wonderful person, who was someone who did, in turn, enjoy me and reciprocate love (indeed I could ask for little more than that), it felt natural and yet it felt entirely foreign. After years of selfish love, and years of just being around myself, I looked beyond myself, but I wasn't quite mature enough for the true love that came into my life.
The sun came up on the horizon to brighten the entire world and I looked instead toward that room with a candle which at one time was the best I could hope for. Only now the door had locked. Sure I could see inside and the feelings of joy and gratitude were real, but maybe it was the kind of joy one gets from seeing a movie or television series, or going to an opera or play. I stood there transfixed, imagining with the best of my imagination what it would be like to be apart of it. It was like playing superheroes as a kid. It was the kind of real make-believe where I would ride my motorcycle through entire cities with skyscrapers and suburbs on a spy mission trying to avoid being caught; But in reality, I was riding around the block on the sidewalk, up and down driveways, through alleys, and the neighbors didn't mind if I went up their driveways so long as I didn't go the lawn.
Meanwhile, I had homework and chores to do, and eventually I'd have to come home and do what I was required to do.
This time though, I actually was in that scenario. It didn’t entirely match the fantasy, but as a reality, it was pretty darn good. It did require however, a level of maturity and responsibility that, although I could resign myself to and accept, was just scary enough to me that when something else came along, I could again revisit the old imaginations. Not surprisingly, the object of my responsible love, was none to pleased. The harsh words of real love that she showed to me as well her true desire to see me happy, which was again just more love, was all I needed to walk away towards this childhood fantasy again. How could I have done that?
Now, four years or more down the road, the fantasy has not become reality because as attainable as it might have been, I was not strong enough nor mature enough to do what had to be done to make it a reality. What was a bird in the hand I traded for two in the bush, and I was not quick enough to grab them before they flew away.
So now what? Maybe I did get something for that fantastic trade off. Yeah, perhaps I lost the bird in the hand and the two others flew away, but there is a sort of consolation prize, as the Lord has been my consolation in the midst of these failed pursuits. The prize consists of renewed and true Catholic values, and a better knowledge of how I am made. My head is still spinning from the falling down the Hill, my arms are still tired from swimming upstream, I am still in over my head because of agreements I unwisely made, and there are still tough choices which I am not nearly strong enough to follow through with. My life is a bit of a mess in the material sense, I am in a tangle mentally, my body is barely functional for the things I want and need to do, and my spirit wallows in the mud where I’ve become comfortable surrounded by the familiar comforts.
I am still not sure about what is next, but I have asked for the awareness to see the next steps on the path God has had to reroute for all of my wandering. One thing seems for sure, and that is there is some sort of family life involved.
Were all these decisions mistakes? Without a doubt, yes. Complete and utter mistakes of the kind that well meaning but unlistening, unseeing people make. The Lord tells us in ways that would be obvious if we knew how to take the time to listen and give in to it. Instead, if we hear it at all, we go off in other directions, listening to selfish desires and ambitions, giving in to the will to power, ignoring the warning signs and turning to inward comforts, committing sin after sin, with an unending line of excuses.
Yet for all that loser-ly behavior, God is there, desiring nothing other than that we turn towards him, willingly, so that he can bring us, frightened and lost, back into his fold yet again.
I know nothing....
What happens when you pay attention?
- All I've ever wanted.