Recently, I drove to my Dad’s house just north of Atlanta. The roads are constantly under construction there so I activated my navigation system to assist me along the way. As I approached his subdivision the voice became more frequent and more insistent. It seemed to be building up to a big finish. In .3 miles turn right. At the next intersection turn left. In 2 tenths of a mile your destination will be on your right. As I crested the hill I could see his driveway. My navigator’s voice announced, “You have arrived.”
I chuckled for just a moment at this. After all, who doesn’t want to hear someone say, “You have arrived?”
I think this may be buried underneath my kinesthesis. Perhaps it is the foundation of my kinesthesis. No matter where I am I’m always seeking to be better. To move forward. To improve. Now this would, at first blush, seem to be a good thing. And in many ways it is. Don’t be satisfied with less than the best. Seek the heights. Be all you can be. All great motivational models. But I expect my dis-settlement more often has to do with, I know just far I have to go, please don’t leave me here.
I do think the Lord of my life has great plans for me. I believe He loves me the way I am and desires that I move on from here. How do I hold those two states of being together?
Henri Nouwen’s words (from his book Life of the Beloved) came to me this morning from a daily email I get called inward/outward (you can subscribe here.) Just, as so often happens, when I needed them:
From the moment we claim the truth of being the Beloved, we are faced with the call to become who we are. Becoming the Beloved is the great spiritual journey we have to make.
As long as “being the Beloved” is little more than a beautiful thought or a lofty idea…, nothing really changes. What is required is to become the Beloved in the commonplaces of my daily existence and, bit by bit, to close the gap that exists between what I know myself to be and the countless specific realities of everyday life.
This says it so perfectly, I am the Beloved AND and I am becoming the Beloved, at the same time. I have arrived and I am on the way at the same time. I am created perfectly even as I am being perfected.
It doesn’t make any sense in the temporal realm, but it rings true with what I know.
And knowing this, I need not fear that claiming my belovedness will interfere with my becoming God’s beloved. In fact, I expect it’s just what I need. To be able to hear “you have arrived” without embarrassment or false humility, but also to be grateful it’s not my final destination.
Today, let me consider that God is in charge of my “there” – wherever I am and wherever I’m going. I needn’t ask “am I there yet?” I am and when I get there, I’ll know.