It will cost me everything. I both fear and long to be completely committed to it. It feels far beyond my ability, yet the path always appears when I take another step. I am speaking of discipleship.
The path grows increasingly and startling alone the deeper I walk, for this is a journey that everyone must make alone with God. Yet as solitude increases, there is a deeper communion with all of humanity. I find myself spending less time socialising with people I know but becoming more present to the strangers I pass every day, and to those whom God draws me to connect with at his appointed time.
I have become almost alarmingly sensitive to the movements of my heart. Every little leap of joy and excitement, every clench of disgust or fear. To be so present to myself can be frightening and tiring. The days of escaping into mindless boredom and the noise of the world are past. These days, the old ways that medicated me from feeling only serve to increase my dissatisfaction and unhappiness. So I choose, often after a fierce struggle, to stay and enter whatever it is I am feeling. I am always rewarded with a deeper intimacy with myself and with God.
In this interior journey, I keep coming upon new thresholds. Each threshold is more daunting than the last for it is narrower, and requires me to discard something else I carry before I can pass through. But each threshold also beckons with the promise of even greater beauty beyond it. Every time I stand before a threshold, I am forced to make a choice – do I lighten my load and continue, or do I turn back? Every threshold becomes a sacred place of re-commitment where I leave another part of my old self behind and say with deeper love to the Lord, “I will follow you.”
When I cross a new threshold, it is as if another veil is lifted. I see my soul a little more clearly and I see God a little more truly. He laughs every time I do a double-take when I see something else about him or me that I had not expected. I think he likes surprising me. I find that I rather like it too!
So yes, this journey that I’m on will cost me everything. Sooner or later I will come upon a threshold that is just big enough for me to go in with nothing else. God, it seems, doesn’t believe in security blankets and safety nets. He keeps telling me that where I’m going, everything will be provided for.
I have come upon yet another threshold this week. As usual, I was daunted. But as Bl. Junipero Serra famously said, “Ever forward, never back!”
Lord, I come.