Kurt Vonnegut the American novelist who died earlier this year once said “There’s only one me, and I’m stuck with him.” I must confess that there are days that I feel very much like that. I’m not sure if it is a feeling of inadequacy really. More of a sense of I wish I could be more some days. I mean, we all get to feeling that we could be more – at least I hope “we” do – I will feel a whole lot less alone if “we” do.
When others expectations of me exceed what I feel I can be – I feel stuck with me. When my expectations of myself exceed who I have become (to date) then I feel stuck with me. When I mistreat those around me, when I sin against neighbour – I feel stuck with me. When I wish I could do more to assist people who are hurting, I feel stuck with me. Do others ever feel this way? I would hope that others feel this same vexation.
It may be that it is that sense of being stuck with Kevin that allows me to work to live in the fullness of God’s created light. I think that we are all on a journey, searching, seeking and trying to place how we can be more complete and more whole. I think we need to ask ourselves how we can be co-creators with God. How can we make the “City of God” a reality? We can succumb to our insecurity about being stuck with ourselves or we can work to get to the bottom of who we are in the first place. “Who is this Kevin that I am stuck with anyway?” Meister Eckhart muses that “A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.” I think that is the real discipline that we need to engage in.
I have a feeling that getting to know myself spiritually, and in every other capacity, will be no easy task. I have been working on this for many year and there are days I am not sure I am any closer than I was when i began being aware of this quest. So be warned, this journey is not an easy one. At the same time, I have loved every bit of the odyssey of seeking and serving Christ. I love the idea that the more I get to know who I am in the content of God’s creation, the more content I might be with being stuck with me. The content I am with me the better I will be able to do that which God asks of me – Love God, Love neighbour, and Love self. The more I learn to now myself, the more I will be able to “do kindness, love justice and walk humbly with my God.”
There are many days when at nightfall I feel pretty contented to be “stuck with me.” I hope you do as well. I pray that I may have more of those days and fewer days thinking being “stuck with me” is getting a raw deal – those feelings are not of God.
See you in Church!