I said I would talk about my sense of the immediacy of life in the next post but this is not that post. Next time. Today I am reflect on a quote that a friend of mine posted on Facebook this morning, which perfectly captures what I’ve been trying to say about this journey. But first, a little background.
The other day I was being interviewed by the Editor-in-Chief of The Clause (the student newspaper at Azusa Pacific University). I can’t remember the question she asked me, but I remember talking about my need to peel away the layers of religious and spiritual accretions that have been the frame through which I have engaged with life. I’ve talked before about removing my “god-glasses” and “stepping into the void” and perhaps this is just one more metaphor for what I think so many of us are desiring and experiencing, especially those who have grown up in a religious culture. The question is something like, “who and where am I?” Christianity, at its best, purports to help people discover the answer to that question. Søren Kierkegaard is reported to have said (though I can never find the reference), “And now, with God’s help, I shall become myself.” I have referred to this statement many times in sermons and lectures to make the point that God does not want us to become someone else—the goal is not even to become (like) Jesus—but to become our most authentic self. But I’m afraid that almost every expression of Christianity is incapable of leading people to this destination, which is likely part of the reason Kierkegaard was not warmly received by the church either.