There are two fundamentally different ways of walking through this life.
The first way is to walk alone. It is the way most of us choose, no matter how many close friends or family members we may have. No matter how plugged in we may be to everything that is around us, we are still walking through this life alone. There is a deep loneliness that resides at the heart of the human soul. It is perhaps the mark of separation left at birth when we are literally cut off from our mothers. Knowing that we were created in a place where two people’s bodies lived in an albeit uncomfortable harmony, we know on a deep level that we were created for community.
Having been intertwined, it is a shocking realization to find we are now separated. And that separation is not only a physical one but also a spiritual one. Just as we were connected to our mothers in body, we have an imprinted memory of our foundational connection to God. Whether our souls existed in heaven prior to our birth I do not presume to know. And there is no way to know whether we ever had consciousness prior to our conception. But the knowledge is there, I believe, nonetheless. Somewhere deep in our DNA or deep within our soul, or deep within the collective unconscious, there is something that knows that this separation we feel from God and from one another is not the way it was intended to be.
It is there in the beginning of the Bible. God looked at Adam and realized he was alone and for the first time in all creation God called something “not good.”
I know this road well. I have walked it most of my life. Too many of my attempts to walk in a different way have failed. I regret each and every failure. I regret the pain it caused others who were trying to walk with me. I own it. The loneliness is mine.
But just as surely as I know that we were created for community, I know there is another way to walk through this life that isn’t alone but together. Together with God. Together with one another. This way of walking acknowledges the temporal reality of our separation but also will not give into it as the defining of our ultimate reality. As much separation and discord as there is at times, there is a deeper unity and harmony that underlies all things. Not only are we deeply connected. We are One. The more we all come to know this and live it as true, the better we will be.
Most major world religions point the way towards this truth. Christianity, my own religion, speaks of God incarnate, the moment in history when the divine became human and walked with us so that we may see we are divine and choose to walk with God. We are not alone. Judaism teaches this through the covenant that God has made with them, that God will never abandon them. We are not alone. Islam teaches this with it’s foundational insistence that God is and that our responsibility is to the service of others. We are not alone. Buddhism teaches that our sense of separation and suffering can be overcome through enlightenment. We are not alone. Taoism teaches that underneath every other perceived way is The Way.
The Way. That’s what my faith was called before it was ever called Christianity. The earliest followers of Jesus called themselves followers of The Way. I love that name. I wish it had stuck. I want to be a part of The Way.
This newest incarnation of my life and ministry is dedicated to God and to you, my fellow sisters and brothers, fellow pilgrims on life’s road. I write because I want to share something of the joy that I expect to find as I move forward into this next phase. Life is intended to be a great adventure. I intend to explore it. And I invite you to join me. I need you to join me. I don’t want to walk this road alone anymore.
I have a lot of exciting destinations in mind. I don’t think you will be disappointed in where we are heading. Come, join me, and let’s go following The Way together.