I want to be fully alive.
While I was in Mexico, a priest asked me “If you had to tell me what you’ve done in your life in one sentence, what would you say?”
In the moment I gave a sarcastic remark but I’ve thought about this question for weeks…
I’ve studied for years, from shapes and colors to the metaphysical arguments for the existence of God. I’ve played sports, and had great comradery with brothers from my back yard to the soccer field at the seminary. I’ve met countless beautiful souls longing to know God more. I’ve been given so many opportunities that a simple man like me could only hope to experience.
But these didn’t answer the question for me.
I started thinking about my greatest desire...I want to be fully alive. But I realized I’m not yet. It can’t be my one sentence because it hasn’t happened yet. Yet.
I’ve always thought that being the man with the answers, or being someone who makes others comfortable, or being a great leader would make me fully alive…
God the Father has been lovingly kicking me in the face.
I’ve been challenged. I’ve felt like I’ll never have any answers to help others, let alone the answers to the questions in my own life. I’ve felt like my abrasiveness can be a hindrance to relationships and so I’m learning to be quiet and patient. I'm learning to be real. This time is different than I thought it would be, but I know this journey is the only way to become fully alive. When everything comfortable is stripped away, like it has been, I’m left with one main thought.
“I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
I want to be fully alive and I finally have an answer I’m confident in giving to my priest friend.
What have I done so far in my life? I have loved little and I have sinned much.
There is hope.
Albeit the phrase that describes my life points to my weakness, I can smile. It isn’t easy for me to admit that I have weaknesses. It isn’t easy for me to admit that I don’t have all the answers. It isn’t easy for me to accept that I can’t do anything on my own worth any merit. But it also isn’t easy to believe how loved I am. It isn’t easy to trust in my identity as a beloved son…But it’s true.
A friend knew I was having a rough couple weeks and I was talking to her after mass and she told me to listen to the song ‘Good Good Father’, and the main lyrics are: ”You’re a good good Father…It’s who you are…And I’m loved by you…it’s who I am.”
I am broken as all get out but He’s a good good Father, and you know, even though I’ve loved little He has continually humbled Himself that I may be fully alive. He gave His Son up to death for me. He gives me countless sacramental opportunities to return to His heart. He forgives me. He revels in me.
He paradoxically calls me to be crucified with His Son that I may be fully alive. He not only wants to fulfill that desire in me, but He wants me to find my identity in Him.
I have loved little. I have sinned much. He is a good good Father. I’m loved by Him. That’s who I am.
And that my friends is a life worth living.