Day Two in "The Journey of the Wise Men: Twelve Days and Twelve Ways to Deepen Your Life of Prayer" There comes a point in each of our lives when we wake up, take a long look at our selves, and wonder what's become of us. We look around ourselves and at the person we've become and realize the life we're living isn't the life we want for ourselves.

There are new questions that old answers don't satisfy.  Tattered relationships. An insane pace. You're medicating your pain 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 likely to keep you in this cul-de-sac, terribly broken, or worse, dead. Or you can embrace your crisis as the path of God---as incongruous as that may seem to be.

The sacred text doesn't tell us why the Wise Men 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 it all behind and set out on a long, arduous, and dangerous journey, not knowing if they'd ever return or what would become of them.

Imagine you're one of them.  You look into your mirror with new eyes---eyes filled with a new and holy light.  Like them, you turn from what is not working---from the frustration and pain, the crushed dreams, the boredom. You watch as you set out on the path your crisis opens up before you.  Someone behind you hollers that you're a fool, but you no longer believe them.  Something else tells you it's the path of wisdom, a path leading to God.

Today, on 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 things about myself: 1. that I am in crisis, and 2. that taking this path may well be the smartest thing I've ever done. Trusting that wisdom, I set out into the unknown.

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