I spent some time with my spiritual director today. As we mulled over the vicissitudes of my life, he had a great line that seemed to bring just about all the points together"
God seems to call us continuously to situations that are just a bit beyond us.
Now, this is not the "Peter Principle," which maxim says that all of us rise to our unique levels of incompetence. This is instead a position that God, loving us, always calls us to a place that is just beyond our experience, our strength, our skills in order to grow us, to cultivate and provoke our living into who and into what we are ultimately to become. That is the beauty of mortality, a seemingly eternal becoming. Sometimes that means being willing to take the training wheels off our new, and intimidating, two-wheelers in life. Sometimes that means being caught out a little too far, with tragic results-like the climbers who are missing on Mt Hood due to a nasty turn of weather. Sometimes we survive those challenges. Sometimes we don't.
But, we are ALWAYS challenged in life. If it were not so, then I am pretty sure we would all become rather corpulent, in all senses of the word. "Get up and move," says Richard Simmons. "Get up and move," says God to Abram. "Get up and move," says Jesus to Peter, Andrew, James and John sitting with their nets in their laps beside the Sea of Galilee.
"Get up and move," says the Spirit to us. Invent the light bulb. Welcome the stranger. Feed the hungry. Build the cathedral. Sing. Pray. Love. Serve. Give.
And always just a little bit more then yesterday. Just a little bit more challenging than you are now used to.
God calls us to a place just beyond our comfort, our skills, sometimes even our passions.
What we find there is our next way point on the path to the kingdom of God.