Every now and again, the divine and our world conspire to give us a glimpse of something amazing. A peek at what we were designed for – a look into what has been planned for us. It’s in those moments when all we are up to, all we have experienced, and all we aspire to be in the future lines up. When all the strife and suffering suddenly has an understandable purpose. When we feel important and invaluable.
You might experience these moments when, for example, you can’t wait to tell someone what you got to be part of that day. It might be in a conversation with someone, when you are recounting recent events and the pattern reveals itself. It might be when you wake in the middle of the night with the answer to something you have been wrestling with.
Regardless of when and how it happens, these moments are glorious, euphoric, and validate that we make sense. It’s like God himself is looking you straight in the eyes and smiling. We get to see and feel that what we are here for matters. That we matter, and always have. We get to see there is a place meant for us alone to occupy. The feeling that we are unequivocally right. And in these moments, as fleeting as they are, it seems almost anything is possible if we just keep going.
Am I alone?
I wonder if anyone else relates to what I am talking about? And if you do – how often does this happen to you? I refer to these moments as “divine reckoning” – when we come into relationship with our purpose in the most visceral of ways. When every cell of our body all at once vibrates with perfect harmony with every other cell, atom, electron and quark going back to be the beginning of time.
Why are these moments so fleeting? And why within hours of the experience can we easily slip back into a state of ambivalence to our own existence? Or worse, into thinking we don’t make any sense, allowing ourselves to become overwhelmed and confused by a mess of distractions, struggle, and hopelessness? How do we stay in these moments longer? Are we meant to? Are we even equipped to see the bigger plan for us?
“You see in people what they don’t always see themselves. And what you see is their potential, as if it were already lived into. The thing is, once you see it, you don’t look away – and no matter what is happening to that person, you see them this way”. A dear friend brought this to my attention one day as I was struggling with a challenging relationship. It helped me understand, and remember what for me is obvious, and in its obviousness, easily forgotten. This one interaction helped me to recognize what I am capable of, and how to use those gifts to change my perspective on how to be in the relationship in a healthier way.
What is so interesting about these moments is how easily we vacillate between this beautiful reckoning and complete confusion. However, for those who know us, see us in our most beautiful identity, even when we are at our worst our design makes complete sense. It is consistent and clear. You see this in those you love, like when you are with a dear friend or loved one who is suffering, and you see nothing but that person intact and lovingly want them to see it too. You see the purpose in others, so of course they see the purpose in you. Try as we might to tell a suffering friend who they are for us, in the darkest moments, it seems impossible for them to see themselves that way. But alas, we keep at it, reminding them of who they are and why they matter and why we love them. And it makes a difference, a big one.
“Brent, it’s time to do some weeding. It’s obvious that too many opportunities are calling for your time and energy are beginning to make you too busy to have much left to see, let alone take care of what is most important. Get all the things that have your attention listed and weed out all but what is most important. If you need help, I am here to help you discern what’s what” One of my closest friends, who knows my tendency to say yes to too many things and the harmful side effects that habit causes, is able to recognize when I am getting trapped in the “busy” long before I can. Now a seasonal ritual, this “weeding” practice has changed my life in a big way, and it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for letting others in to see it and call me out on it.
Keep them close
For me, I want to keep these people as close to me as I can. To share in the joy of life making sense, and to be within the dark when I am lost. They are there holding up the mirror so I can be reminded of who I am, why I matter, and that what I am committed to has a purpose. These are the people that love me enough to be willing to show me what I don’t want to see – and call me out when I am out of synch with whom they know me to be.
I believe the people who can show you, not just tell you, why you matter are the most precious relationships you can have. But to have these relationships, be it with God, or with a loved one, you need to be willing to reveal yourself, and invite them to share in the complete story of you, the brokenness, the beauty, the dreams and the tragedy. I am convinced that the ability to experience moments of divine reckoning more often has everything to do with finding those who we can trust to hold our identity as sacred and invest in them with your full heart and with reckless abandon.