True wholeness requires an understanding and embracing of one’s WHOLE SELF – good, bad, and ugly. One cannot simply EXIST; one must THRIVE. I don’t want to EXIST or SURVIVE. I want to THRIVE, to feel and be fully ALIVE. Not busy for the sake of being busy, but busy transforming the best version of ME. Growing up in church had its advantages and disadvantages. I learned Biblical principles, but, to some degree, I also learned how to hide behind them, like most other Christians. The person I hid from the most was ME. But, with time and maturing, the process of understanding who I am now and am becoming has been the process that I now embrace instead of fear. Being fearfully and wonderfully made means celebrating being fully human AND deeply spiritual. I have come to understand that being spiritual ought not rob me of my humanity, but instead inspire my humanity. Being human used be synonymous with being broken to me. But the first human God created WASN’T BROKEN! Adam, and later Eve, were perfect being fully human. They were not angels or Nephilim or any other spiritual beings. They were INTENTIONALLY HUMAN! Consider this: If God the Creator purposefully created human beings as a part of the ecosystem, why do we, as Christians, spend our entire life journey RUNNING FROM OUR HUMANITY?? Yes, sin exists. But could it be possible that our spiritual connection to our Creator is what EMPOWERS us to be human? Even more, is it possible that our humanity ENHANCES our spiritual connection to our Creator?! We bury our humanity under the busyness of the routine and ritual of the church and religion, to the point where we neglect and deny the reality that we are HUMAN BEINGS! And when you hide from or attempt to discredit your very existence, you cause an identity crisis that cannot be remedied until you acknowledge and EMBRACE the being God created you to be. This, my friends, is LIFE at its very best, one’s humanity and one’s spirituality peacefully coexisting and working together to produce the best version of YOU. Who would turn that down??
I think the best way that I can illustrate this war between the physical and the spiritual is my dear friend Mr. Spock (don’t judge my Star Trek reference – there is a deeper lesson to be learned here). Spock is the well-known first officer to Captain James Kirk on the starship Enterprise. What is unique about him is his heritage. You see, he is half human, half Vulcan, a blending of two diametrically opposed cultures. On one hand, the human race is known for being very much in touch with their emotions, and are willing to embrace and express said emotions based on the circumstance. Vulcans, on the other hand, pride themselves on the seemingly excessive level to which they restrict and suppress their emotional side in favor of logic and reason. To Vulcans, emotions are illogical, and therefore serve no real purpose. Imagine the internal war that Spock faced every single day, trying to balance one part of himself with the other. While he possessed the capacity to show self-restraint and self-control in the face of incredibly strong feelings and emotions, he also was very much human in that he could not simply dismiss or turn off those very same feelings and emotions. And so he faced a challenge – pick a side, and a lifestyle. Living as a Vulcan was very different from living as a human. Everything from education to occupation was approached from a completely different lens and perspective. So, as a young child, by the choice of his parents, Spock was raised and educated in the Vulcan culture. But, when he came of age, he made a choice to attend the Star Fleet Academy, after passing the Vulcan’s equivalent with flying colors. He chose a different path, taking what he had learned from his Vulcan culture and using it to help him excel at the Star Fleet Academy founded in human culture. What he discovered was that one set of education and learning actually complemented the other. And, as he excelled and climbed the ranks in Star Fleet, he learned more and more what it meant and could mean to be both Vulcan and human, two seemingly opposite worlds residing in the same house. It wasn’t as painful or as difficult as it seemed.
This is the lesson that we must learn about our existence. C.S. Lewis stated that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. But the opposite is also true, that we are human beings having a spiritual experience. To take one without the other would be egregious and short-sighted. One of my life mantras is God created us with purpose, on purpose, and for a purpose. If He wanted more angels, He would have created them. But instead He created Mankind, to rule the earth and the beasts on the earth. He created a human being in His image who would mirror His heavenly rule on earth. What a thought! Go back and read the Creation account in Genesis where He, the Triune God, decides in His infinite wisdom, to “create man in Our image and likeness” (Genesis 1:26). We, in our own unique way, are the Spocks of today, stumbling around, pitting one part of ourselves against the other, when all we need to do in order to live the full, abundant life that Jesus came in order for us to enjoy, is to embrace both sides of the same coin, both characteristics of the same house. Stop suffocating your humanity in order to protect your spirituality, because the reality is that, when you do that, both suffocate and die. So it’s time that we stop favoring our spiritual side over our human sense, and, instead, use our spiritual side to infuse our humanity and our humanity to enliven our spirituality. Being a human is not a curse; remember the words of David in Psalm 139:14 – “I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!” Celebrate both sides of who God created you to be. Embrace what it means to be deeply spiritual and fully human. Let the real journey of self-discovery begin NOW.