It's Not About You, But It Is

Calling can’t be explored without community.  As we journey inward to experience God and self more fully, we must also share outwardly with the world.  That is important for truly experiencing God.    

To be in touch with one’s deepest sense of self is freeing and exciting, but also scary.  Such awareness usually challenges much of life around us, and ways we are told to be and do.  If we are fortunate enough to access some of our truest nature, we have an obligation to share that discovery and the process with others through service, relationship, and witness.  

Last week, I acted on my obligation by supporting 60 men in the five day Men’s Rites of Passage in the West Virginia woods.  I did the Rites a few years ago, and was returning to help others.  At one point, we were reminded that life is not about us - but also that “Your life is hidden with Christ in God.  He is your life, and when he is revealed, you will be revealed in all your glory with him” (Colossians 3:4).

It’s not about you, but it is.    

That speaks to the mysterious, intimate connection between God, self, and other that is a huge part of the spiritual journey.  It speaks to how much God loves us and wants us to grow - and how that is entwined with Christ and the journeys of others.  We should always be asking if we have the right balance between focus on self and others.  

I returned to this year’s Rites to help hold space for these men and to pray for them.  But other men planned for nearly a year to make these Rites happen. These are men who are serious about their own inner work, who accept the challenges of seeing life differently, and who lead by serving others who want to trust, stretch, and grow.  

These elders exemplify community born of experience and journey, and knowing how important it is to help others go deeper.  Engaging God in nature, silence, and ritual is not just about the individual.  It’s also about others.  In helping others, the insight, connection, and support we need is often revealed.  

It’s not about you, but it is.        

You are on a journey.  Wherever you are and whatever you need, your quest is important.  But don’t forget that it can’t be separated from others.  Calling needs community, and community needs calling.  Because the journey is never finished, don’t be surprised when those you have served in the past serve you. Don’t be surprised if those who helped you back then need your help now. Perhaps that is your true life revealed in Christ.      

It’s not about you, but it is.