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Becoming Whole is a Spiritual Journey

In the past couple of weeks, I lost two family members who meant a lot to me, even though we only saw each other maybe a couple of times a year. One of them was a steady, faithful, loving presence who minced his words with a presence of acceptance that spoke loudly throughout my life, especially in my seasons of great troubledness. The other was such a joy - he always made me feel like a rockstar, more interested in my life rather than talking about his. His laughter and smile were contagious.

I lost a friend over four months ago who was just a jewel to me and everyone she met. She always, always, always loved well with joy. I am not talking about that plastic feeling with a pie-in-the-sky outlook. No, she possessed absolute joy, a real love, and she loved living life. I know she faced difficulties, but she never let that be known when you were with her. She was amazing.

In my reading this morning, I learned that the early-day monks kept scripture, a candle, and a skull in their study. The scripture and the candle are understandable, but a skull? In those days, it was an actual skull. The skull was a reminder to them that their life would end and life would continue without them. We all will return to the dust, so keeping your perspective was their mantra. The skull was a harsh reminder to make the most of each day and live today to prepare them for their last. Preparing for our last day is the point of becoming whole. We all form our lives intentionally or unintentionally for that last day. So we are all in a "type" of formation, of becoming whole or incomplete for that end day.

How we want to face our last day and be remembered determines how we live today. I learned this firsthand as a chaplain. I met from young to old, the oldest 108, as they faced death. Some lived their last days trying to make their lives "right" because they felt incomplete spiritually and relationally, hoping for a final resting place. We all will have a place where our bodies will rest.

On the other hand, others lived from a sense of wholeness and well-being with a noticeable faith, making their last day a final and peaceful resting place. Many more lived facing death in between this spectrum. All this is to say, "How I live today will form or deform me to some degree, and what will my last day be like? Scripture speaks often about wholeness and completeness. This is God's ultimate desire for us, and it all starts with Him.

All three of these beautiful people touched me. Each was uniquely special, as if God smiled, reflecting Himself through them to me. They touched me in such a unique way that rubbed me with joy, enhanced my life, and created a place where I looked forward to seeing them again. They were who they were to the end—whole people, at least from my perspective. I would love to give further tribute to their lives, but I think you understand.

What touched me about their lives was the goodness that shined through. As we know, this isn't always the case for each of us. There is only one mother Teresa, and even she had her off days. We all have our moments and off days growing and grinding through life, but the goodness that does shine through is God. As we journey, we strongly prefer for Him to shine more through us and to others as we live out our lives in the world.

Philippians 2:15b..., among whom you shine as lights in the world.

Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

We are all created in God's image, and He breaks forth in us to reveal His goodness and love to all. He shines through if we can hold space long enough for people to see Him and for us to be seen for Who He is.

I have found that the commonality in journeying with others, a center point for growing in wholeness, is their faith in God. On the good days, He gets the glory; on the not-so-good days, it's an invitation back to our Center—Him. This growing is life within us, never ends and keeps the devotion to Him alive and fresh.

The spiritual wholeness journey is my authentic self, living honestly towards God, with myself and others in all I do, say, think, and ask. It's about fullness and completeness in my daily life, no matter what I am doing, experiencing, or hoping for. He is life!

God desires His goodness to grow daily until our last day. This is life in us. He is growing us to wholeness as we journey in life with Him. The Greek word for salvation, 'sozo,' means "wholeness, healed, saved" in general. Considering this, the Spiritual Journey is a journey of Him alongside and within us, making us whole or forming us to His original intent. Allowing Him to work out in our lives is the journey. It's beautiful walking with Christ - He is beautiful!

Salvation is about making us whole by Him forgiving sins, granting liberation, well-being, joy, protection, security, physical, emotional, and spiritual healing, great relationships, etc. God desires to be a part of all aspects of life. The Lord wants to bring life, health, peace, and freedom to the totality of our lives. This isn't a prosperity (cash) message but a life message.

We no longer hear the word "sin," which makes me wonder why. Sin is a blockade with God—missing the wholeness that He created us to be and live towards. He always invites us to His mark because that is His best for everyone He created. He loves us and desires the best for each of us—Him. There are no mistakes in His creations. From God's perspective, wholeness is life in us, followed by eternal life. A win, win!

Where are the opportunities to allow this wholeness in our lives to come forth? The invitation is to notice where we struggle... 'Sozo,' life is trying to come forth in those struggles. Sinful patterns (missing the mark) of living are ways working against God's desired wholeness in me, and these patterns are slowly killing me. This is why God hates sin. A journey of continual turning towards Him as followers of Jesus is our path. Jesus says He is the Way, He is the Truth, He is the Life. It is set up almost like an equation. Way + Truth = Life. It is those areas where I don't feel alive or full and or where conflict seems to arise continually that are opportunities to turn toward Him. He doesn't condemn me; instead, He invites me to Him.

Christ died for me to experience life from the inside out, making me "right" before God and establishing a path to walk toward wholeness towards my last day.

What if life’s fulfillment is not about achievements and goals but about coming to wholeness for our last day? While goals and achievements are reasonable, we probably feel something is missing if that is all our lives are about.

Eulogy virtues are more powerful than resume virtues - David Brooks

One is remembered after you have passed, while the other is soon forgotten after you leave your job. What if God becomes and remains our center in all things? Then, our movements toward goals and achievements begin - this posture of faith will enliven us. Do you need someone to process this and journey with you? Let me know. I would be honored to travel with you.



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Mar 16
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This is a great point to ponder:

Salvation is about making us whole by Him forgiving sins, granting liberation, well-being, joy, protection, security, physical, emotional, and spiritual healing, great relationships, etc. God desires to be a part of all aspects of life. The Lord wants to bring life, health, peace, and freedom to the totality of our lives.

Salvation is much less about a destination, than it is a way of living. This is a wonderful reflection on having a life well lived for the glory of God. Those lives that have touched us are also inspirations for us to live likewise.

Rob's life is like one who has gone out into a field of flowers dancing in God's creation…


Mar 15
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

A very good read!

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