Question of the day: IS YOUR SOUL APPALLED?
I often receive questions from people who are trying to find their path in life, but don't know which way to turn. ("I'm stuck," is the most familiar expression of this dismaying condition.)
Getting unstuck can be a long process — even a lifelong process — but here is a line of thought I try to offer people, when I see them struggling...it goes something like this:
For reasons that you may never understand, you have been given stewardship over a human soul — which is, of course, your own. This soul was born into YOU — born into your very specific life. Your soul, born into this life, is what my friend Rob Bell calls "a unique event in the history of the universe." There has never been one of you before. Nobody has ever tried the experiment of YOU yet. Nobody has ever tried being this particular soul, lodged in this particular body, born into this particular family, arriving at this particular moment in time, raised in this particular culture, faced with these particular challenges. (And, as Rob also reminds us, that realization alone can be a comforting thought, when you are feeling lost and overwhelmed: NOBODY HAS EVER TRIED THE EXPERIMENT OF YOU YET. Why did you think you were supposed to get it right on the first try? You are a unique event. There is no precedent. There is no operational manual. So show yourself some mercy, if this business of being you seems impossibly tricky at times. You have to figure you out as you go. Sometimes "figuring yourself out as you go" can feel like you're tinkering with the engine of a car, while you are also driving that car down the highway at 70 mile an hour, and while you are also the passenger. Perfect. I think it's supposed to feel like that. It's a strange situation. Have patience with yourself.)