My True Self

I need a homecoming.  Do you ever feel like you’ve wondered away from your true Home?  I’m currently reading a book by Albert Haase called “Coming Home to Your True Self: Leaving the Emptiness of False Attractions.”  I am both encouraged and discouraged.  I am so often allured by the false attractions that I miss the authentic nature of my Christian life.  Do you ever feel like you should know more by now?

I believe the path to this authenticity, this true homecoming to our true selves, happens in the present.  Haase explains this brilliantly and I highly recommend his book.  But I will sum up my version for you here.  My true self is buried under events and coping strategies of the past.  My true self is swallowed up in anxiety and the need to control in the future.  The only true Gina exists is in this moment, fully present to Christ.  Only in the now can I walk in faith and forgiveness.  Only in this minute can I surrender who I am to the Triune God.  Maybe that’s why Jesus told us to pray without ceasing.

I have tested this “in the moment” theory this week.  Here are my discoveries (and I would challenge you do try this yourself): It is only when I stop and breathe in this moment that I am fully awake and alive.  Outside of this moment I am asleep and dreaming.  If I try to find my true self in the past, I experience the nightmare of guilt and despair.  If I try to forge or strive for my true self in the future, I become anxious and controlling.  My idealistic daydreams don’t come true.  It is only in the “now” that I can be a fully surrendered, faith-filled, free-from-guilt child and servant of God.  And so, my challenge becomes to abide or remain in the here-and-now.  While I am tempted to rehash the past or plan who I will be in the future, I am beginning to recognize this thinking only leads me to striving, exhaustion, and bondage.  But this moment, in Christ, is free.

I really believe in the Art of Breathing…taking one breath at a time, exhaling me, inhaling all God is offering me, day in, day out, moment by moment.  It’s not about the outcome and how efficiently we get there.  We find our true selves, the self created in God’s image who will live into eternity, when we live in this moment, right now, with the One who is the Breath, the Source.  So maybe we don’t need to know as much about “how” to find the Abundant Life, but rather “when.”  The answer: right now.