I’m not sure that we modern people are any more comfortable with time even if we are preoccupied with it. Our lives no longer follow the path of the sun or the pull of the moon.
We can light up our nights and darken our days as we will.
We can eat strawberries in the dead of winter if we want.
Taming nature cannot eliminate the questions that all of us still have to ask ourselves from time to time, “Who am I and where am I going?”
We are a restless and uncertain people.
Our lives may not be centered anymore on plantings and harvests,
but they will always center around buried failures and fresh undertakings.
By celebrating and making conscious our endings, we take time out from our restless searching and allow ourselves hope for a new beginning.
Gertrud Mueller Nelson, To Dance with God
Who am I and where am I going? As a younger woman I often asked myself that question. A dear friend from an early era of my life and I would sit in a coffee shop for hours on end week after week discussing that very topic. Some days we would have and answer; other days, and more often than not, we would have no answer and so instead wallow in our collective misery and bitch about our miserable lives.
I wonder if the subject of ‘who I am and where am I’ going comes up when a person is a young adult, newly birthed into the world of freedom precisely because they are newborns. Like all predator animals our young are born vulnerable and needy and for many years we need the protection and sustenance that can only be found at the loving bosom of a parental figure. At some point, however, if the parental figure is wise and willing, they will push their child out of the proverbial nest (if the child is unwilling to go on its own) so they may test their own wings and fly on their own. It is the wisest thing to do.
No one had to push me out of my nest when I was younger. My mom cried the day I moved out – but I knew I had to go – if I stayed any longer I would have gone around the bend even more than I already was. I had already overstayed my welcome by a year, having moved out when I was 19. By the time I was in my mid – 30s and discussing such existential ideas with friends I had moved probably 5 or 6 times and changed jobs at least as often. I had also changed churches/denominations/faiths probably 3 or 4 times by then. I had a lot to talk about.
As Ms Nelson says, “We are a restless and uncertain people.” But the good thing is that God is not restless, nor is He uncertain. He is patient and kind and understanding and loving and loves me regardless of where I am in my uncertainty and restlessness. I will always try to do better and succeed. And I will always fail. That is the nature of humanity. I will never be good or perfect enough. No one will ever be. And that is okay. I don’t have to be because God Is.