After years of attempting to “stay on my path” towards God while over-thinking every big decision, I am ready for a new metaphor. The more I know about God and free will and love and sorrow, the less I am willing to believe that there is one single plan for me (or you or anybody else).
Instead, life is a map with countless routes leading from birth towards full communion with God and the only right way to get there is to love.
Love will never be a straight path. Love is messy and complicated and will cause us to careen off the direct route and onto the long way home throughout our lives. These detours are not detours at all, but necessary moments that allow us the time and space to breathe.
This year was my much needed long way home.
Saying this out loud feels almost sacrilegious. How could a year filled with communal pain be part of my path towards God? Yet, we know if we have ever sat with a friend in sorrow before, that this space is where love lives.
This pandemic has been a year of both/and, the very both/and that we encounter in life and in faith. It has been both awful and wonderful, and acknowledging the truth of the full story is what leads us towards hope.
I am done believing that there is one right way. God gave us countless ways to love and loves us in countless ways. Our job is to recognize that love and share it the best way we can.