Just read this post by Fr. Michael
where he speaks of women
my age about
who are in different places - one married with children
one wanting to be married with children
both feeling unfulfilled and like they really are not doing what
they are fully called to do.
I know first hand the pain for the second
unmarried, loves kids, no suitable husband to be found
and I have girlfriends who are also in this situation.
This is a mystery I cannot solve,
why some seem to easily find a spouse
and some who may never do so.
But I also know, which is what Fr. Michael was getting at,
the confusion and pain of feeling like one's
goals and dreams were not met or
did not or will not happen.
I honestly don't know, at this juncture, if I will get a library job
Or if I will find work that I really dreamed of doing.
But I am wondering about this and if in the long run if it matters.
Now dreams I think do matter,
I think they speak of what we value and what we find beautiful.
Believe me, I still have my dreams.
I have been wondering if we in North America, and affluent parts of Europe,
are just really spoiled and think whatever would most fulfill is
is our right to have and to pursue.
How is the right to have or pursue what fulfills us Christian?
Did Jesus come to earth to find personal fulfillment?
Did Christ come to save us merely because it would make Him
fulfilled? Somehow pridefully satisfied at His accomplishment?
He came in utter poverty.
He emptied Himself of His Glory so that we could see Him
and not be blinded by the brilliance of Him as He really is
and is show in the Brilliant Light of the Transfiguration.
Christ came in utter humility,
teaching us that as we see Him, so we see the Father.
The Holy Trinity being God
lives in perfect love and communion with each other.
They are not self-seeking but love;
God is fully full in Himself
and utterly loving towards us,
How badly we have gotten it wrong,
to think that the measure stick of our lives should be
what fulfills us.
How damaging, how lamentable, how lost.
Somehow the meaning of our life will never be found in,
as Fr. Michael discusses,
in 'bagging experiences' and a list of what we want to do and experience
before we die.
Our life is to be Christ's.
The Church, as is the Orthodox understanding,
is our spiritual hospital,
for our healing, for our salvation.
The fasts are for our healing, medicine for us;
as is Confession, and the other sacraments.
Now I am not sure what this means on practical terms for me,
other than it is better to give my dreams to Christ
and even let them die
than to lose Christ.
Fr. Michael speaks of
being transformed into Christ who the Church Fathers
point to as the Good Samaritan.
To love others.
For the one married with children to me it seems more clear -
the children you have are your neighbour,
are the first one's your minister to.
How much you can do outside of this is up to God.
How we singles who need to be self-supporting and the
unique challenge we have,
it is not always as clear, how to have one's selfishness
rubbed off of ourselves;
but with Christ all is possible.
Somehow, regardless of our dreams,
which may or may not be fulfilled,
the point within them must be turned to Christ
and must be for our salvation
and other's salvation
and not for the self-fulfillment
that the world has confused with salvation.
Lord help us.