Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    Advent Musings Part 1

    "Follow Your bliss." These words of Joseph Campbell, world renowned scholar of mythology and professor of comparative religion, had a profound influence on me when I first came across them in college. At the time, I sensed there was a great truth buried within that simple notion that somewhere, out there, was that "thing" that would bring true happiness, true joy, fulfillment, and purpose. I imaged it wold eventually be found in that perfect career, the most prestigious accomplishments, the hard-earned reputation, the envied lifestyle.

    It took many years for me to understand that the goal was not to "FIND your bliss." Bliss was not some prize to be discovered at the end of the journey. Rather, following one's bliss is the journey itself. It is the "way" that Jesus speaks of in the Gospel of John. It is the path that we make straight for the coming of Christ into our lives each Advent. It is the journey that takes us to surprising places and encounters with surprising people. It is a journey in which one must travel lightly and leave much behind: self-centeredness, lusts for material possessions, the need for prestige, our contempt for others, and our own sense of self-importance. When we do lighten our pack, we open ourselves to true life and we find that we are already on the journey toward bliss -- toward that life-affirming and transforming experience of God's love.

    This Advent, why not encourage your youth to prepare their hearts in this time of waiting by challenging them to discover their bliss and follow it wherever it might take them.