Third in the Series The Twelve Days as Twelve Ways to Deepen Your Connection with God.
There comes a point in each of our lives when we wake up, take a long look at ourselves, and wonder what's become of us. We look around ourselves and at the person we've become and realize that the life we're living isn't the life we want for ourselves. There are new questions that old answers can no longer satisfy. There are tattered relationships, an insane pace.
Maybe you're medicating your pain or boredom with work or sex, or by abusing alcohol or drugs. Life as it is isn't working for you, but you haven't a clue what to do about it.
You can avoid the crisis that stares at you from the mirror. You can pray for a miracle. You can keep medicating your pain, but that's like to keep you in this cul-de-sac, bored, broken, or worse, dead. Or you can embrace your crisis as the path of God—as incongruous as that may seem.
The sacred text doesn't tell us why the Magi left the life they once knew (Matthew 2.1-12). We only know that the light they'd glimpsed in the sky gave them such hope that they left everything behind and set out on a long, arduous, and dangerous journey, not knowing if they'd ever return or what would become of them.
Take this moment and imagine you're one of them.
You look in the mirror with new eyes—eyes filled with a new and holy light. Like them, you begin right now to turn from what is not working—from the frustration and pain, the crushed dreams, the boredom. You watch yourself as you set out on the path your crisis has opened up before you. Suddenly, someone behind you is shouting. They're hollering that you're a fool. For an instant you believe them. But you return to your resolve and turn your back on doubt. Something else within your tells you this is the path of wisdom, the path leading to God.
Today, this second day of Christmas, I will grow still in prayer, taking a long look at myself—no matter how painful that look may be. I'll look long and deep until I see two truths about myself. One, that I'm in crisis. And two, that taking this path may well be the smartest thing I've ever done. Trusting that wisdom, I set out into the unknown.