I read this cool quote this morning from brennan manning: “the true self finds identity in being totally loved by God in the ordinariness of life. The true self is grateful for spiritual highs without craving them and, likely as not, without making too much of them when they come. The true self knows we encounter God most often in the day-to-dayness of life.”
The spiritual highs are great because they are moments when we feel like the michelangelo painting on the sistine chapel–we can feel our fingers touching God, us soaring in the sky with God, the two of us the center of a grand opera of color. Some mornings I forget who I am even. I have to take a shower to at least smell good for God. Sure, I want to soar. I want to soar every day. Who doesn’t? I have had to live in this kind of sometimes uncomfortable ordinariness of spirituality at times.
I’ve been thinking about authenticity a lot. The more I am myself and not afraid to sit uncomfortably for a few moments in the possibility of silence, in the possibility of not getting an answer from God, or the possibility of being rejected by others–the less my little true self is afraid to come out, with Him and with others. You know how you have those uncomfortable moments with people when instead of talking about yourself, about your week, you want to talk from deep inside somewhere that has felt cast out of conversation for most of your life? I have a hard time with this one. I was thinking this morning about Jesus and how he had courage, which is not normally an attribute we use to describe him. He had c ourage to pour himself out–in other words, he was the kind of person who was willing to show up with all of his true feelings in front of a crowd of strangers. I’m not talking about opinions, because while opinions can cause arguments and praise, they can still be a coverup–one step from the true inner, tender, vulnerable person that is the core of feeling and hope. Jesus came up to us and said, “I really really feel this way about you. I really admire you. You wanna be friends? I’d be willing to die on telling you this.” And so he does. With great courage he gets up and gives us his inner self.