The Way that Leads Home
May 27, 2014
Way Will Open
I am reminded, yet again,
life is not a scale, a system of
weights and measures –
if you do it this way, you win.
that way, you lose.
Certainly things seem to
be set up that way, but we
know a different way,
a way in which there is no winner,
no loser – a way that is only and always
It’s not just that everyone wins or
everyone loses – it’s that our very way
of thinking about it in these terms
The Quakers speak of Way opening.
“Way will open,” they say, and then they
sit in the quiet and wait, together,
holding vigil for as long as it takes.
In a world which builds itself upon
winning and losing, winners and losers,
we need help more than ever.
Lead us in the Way of Love. Turn our
systems upside down and inside out
so that all of us might let go of winning,
losing, and instead,
understand ourselves as who we are –
children of God.
Way will open, we pray.
~ © Claire McKeever-Burgett
As infants and toddlers, we are measured according to standards of development. By the time we enter grade school, social skills are added to the mix and the letters A-F become our gods. Years later, we pick up an instrument, sing in the choir, settle into fine art, or join the soccer team. In a matter of time, what was once a love turns into a competition of talent.
Soon enough, college admittance and vocational trade exams attempt to place boundaries to our dreams. By the time we are adults, the rankings & quests continue: for a job, a spouse, an enviable savings account.
Sometimes, when we feel ourselves losing direction, we step back from the fray and listen to the truth of ourselves: I am a child God. I am Christ’s own. Forever.
We remember that God did not use a ranking system in calling a tongue-tied Moses or a short, young shepherd named David. There was no standard in calling Jesus’ disciples either. All that mattered was their willingness to go, trust, and embrace God’s call on their lives. We breathe in the truth that sets us free.
Without warning, the yearning to fit in returns and the cacophony of competition begins again. So, we stop. Again. And listen: “I am a child of God. I am Christ’s own. Forever.”
We remember, as the poet Claire McKeever-Burgett declares, “We know a different way,” This is the way that leads to life–not an observation or ranking of it, but the full embrace of the Love that delights in us and declares us worthy. The Love the stares death in the face for us. The Love that frees us to dream mightily and fail boldly.
Stop. Listen. Embrace.
This is the way that leads us home.
Make a map of the last year, month, or even day. Make note of the glorious and the not-so glorious moments. Give thanks that even amidst the detours and roadblocks, God has been with you, cheering you on all the way.