A Long Dreamed Journey

Next week, I take a journey I have long dreamed about. By this time next week I will be arriving into Delhi, India for a two week trip with my brother. I don’t like talking about myself or having people focus on me—maybe it’s part of being the youngest child who got used to getting the thrice hand-me-down bike or the freedom that came with often being overlooked amidst the siblings. Yet, I want to share with you all a bit about this trip because I’ve noticed in myself some changes in preparing for this long-hoped-for trip. Growing up my brother and I shared best friends who were also brothers. Their family was from India and their parents emigrated from India for work and a better future. My childhood was filled with late night meals (like dinner at 10/11pm), hearing conversations that started in English but ended in animated Hindi, and watching Sunday football games surrounded by rooms filled with art and beauty from India. My imagination was always charged by this familiar and distant place. And what I’ve noticed in myself is the need to both let go of my preconceived notions and be open to the truth I will experience. You see, when you’ve held something so close to you for so long you have preconceived ideas about that thing, maybe even that person. But the truth is always much more elusive and wild—in the end, it can only be received not controlled. This is true for the fullness of our relationships if they are to be based in love. Love does not seek to control, but seeks the freedom, the wholeness of the other precisely because love cannot be compelled. This is true for the fullness of our relationship with God too. The moment we believe we have God figured out like high school math or and old friend, the closer we are to losing that relationship. As I’ve heard said before, “I know my spouse so well, I don’t know them at all.” That is, we can stop being surprised, stop being curious, stop being interested in that or those people we believe we have all figured out. No, no—this is no way to live or be in relationship. The fullness of life and faith is the curious, the learning, the open heart. This Lent, I hope you’ll make space in yourself to let go of your certainties and open yourself to the curious faith that is in you. The sign of this faith might just be your questions, your doubts, your failures, the shortcomings, the falsities, the boredom of life. Don’t turn from such things; rather, see them, acknowledge them, and ask yourself: “What now? What next?” Be open and take the journey of faith to a familiar and foreign place—a place that is new, yet old, unknown, yet very much home. It is there, in this place of growth and risk that we begin to find ourselves, the life we hope to live, and the God we meet again for the first time.
This Sunday, friends, I hope you can be at the 10am service where we welcome Ryan Canaday for our TIM Talk. Ryan is a United Methodist minister and founder of FREE, a community focused on people living with addiction, family members or friends of people living with addiction, and creating a community of support and recovery. He will share with us his own powerful story of addiction, recovery, community, and faith. I have been looking forward to this Sunday for months now since Ryan and I first began to talk about him coming to be with us. Don’t miss it—this talk promises to be an amazing time together.

Fr. Nick