You are in the midst of a job search.
You are fighting your insurance company to cover a catastrophic water leak in the house.
You are working through therapy to overcome an illness or disability.
You are juggling several courses to finish your degree.
You are buried in a critical project at work.
Things you want to do, dreams you want to realize, are put on hold.
You find yourself saying, I can’t wait for my life to begin . . .
And you imagine: My life will begin when . . . My life will begin when I get a new job.
My life will begin when I can rebuild.
My life will begin when I know my daughter will be fine.
My life will begin when I can fend for myself again.
My life will begin when the kids university fees are covered and our retirement is funded.
My life will begin when . . .
Naomi Levy, in her book Hope Will find You, writes that, while caring for her critically ill daughter, she often wondered when her life would “begin,” when she could realize the dreams and goals she had for herself.
“I could see the ways I’d been promising myself there was a heaven waiting for me. And just then something snapped inside of my soul: This IS my heaven. I’d been walking around thinking, ‘This isn’t my life, my life is coming, it’s just around the bend.’ I started thinking of all the people I knew who were chanting that very same line.
“I could always see there was a whole tribe of people just like me and we were all caught in the same lie. We were fooling ourselves into thinking our lives hadn’t begun. But none of us were foetuses in the womb, and we weren’t ghosts either, we were people who had to learn to LIVE inside the imperfect lives we had.”
Today, Jesus confronts the “beginning” of his life – in his confrontation with the devil, Jesus comes to understand exactly what the Father is calling him to do with his life. We find ourselves confronting the same question: how to live our “imperfect” lives to the fullest, to the happiest, to the most meaningful. This Lenten spring is a time for finding our way out of our winters of cynicism, our deserts of self-absorption, our wildernesses of despair and hopelessness. These days before Easter’s dawning are a time for deciding what we want our lives to be, what values we want to make the centre of our lives, what we believe to be truly meaningful and purposeful to us. For our lives begin now; heaven is before us.