Look for a window. (A direction that has been adapted from Malachi in the Old Testament but still makes sense today.)
Sometimes in life, things that we used to do become impossible. It could be that a baby has ruled out the option of heading out spontaneously. Or the death of a loved one makes us feel that we just can’t go to those places where we remember them the most. Or, as all of us can relate to, the not so new restricting rules of lockdown, self-isolation and social distancing mean that so many of our past freedoms have been unexpectedly blocked over.
These past two weeks I have experienced the limbo of watching as someone else cleans my house. The old structures of ‘bathroom on Tuesdays, vacuuming on Thursdays, kitchen on Fridays’ have been lifted away as they are all done for me. What bliss you may say. And it is. But it has also left me adrift. Before there was work. Then there were babies. Recently there was housework and exercise class. Now? Well that is up to me.
It is hard to re-create our purpose when the former scaffolding of our days is taken away. When our usual way is inaccessible, what direction do we turn to? The question, ‘what is it that you do’ becomes more and more difficult to answer. Harder still is ‘who are you?’ Sadly, in this world, those two questions are inextricably linked together.
Do you find them as hard to respond to as I do? It struck me that in fact, we don’t have to answer them neatly. If the first is just about getting through the day and the second is unknown right now, that is ok. It is ok to be lost. You just need to look for the markers to get your bearings. Markers like family, friends and faith. For me, the answer lies in the hands of God. He is the most qualified to see me and to find my purpose.
What we do and who we are do not have to depend on eachother. One does not lead to, or equal, the other. The essence of you is not what you have achieved or how much you get paid to do it.
As I stand at this fork on the road I’m looking round for the next step. There is another way. A window. I’m just waiting to find it. How about you?