Mining with Integrity the Dark…….Self-Discovery

Excerpt from today’s Ravi Zacharias Ministry by Jill Carattini, courage for living into who we are, the one God created us to be:”The pull toward self-reflection is clearly a trend among us. Spirituality, self-help, and memoir are all categories that continue to reach bestseller lists, while the pursuit of self-expression continues to lure us into self-absorption. There is reason to be concerned by the compulsion toward self and the privatizing of categories surrounding the… individual. Likewise, there is still promise in a community of people willing to truly face themselves.

The current multi-generational tendency toward self-reflection can lead to multi-generational discoveries of the hope of authenticity and the reality of the unseen. But there is a great difference between knowing our bellies and their constant pangs of appetite and knowing our selves. Within the pursuit of knowing the self, there is a choice to tread water safely or to delve into hard questions and risk drowning in order to know what it means to be human, why we pursue and believe in self-fulfillment, what it means that we long to know the point of a lifetime and the reason we live it. Speaking of this uniquely human enterprise, James Loder writes, “In its bewildered, blundering, brilliance, [the human spirit] cries out for wisdom to an ‘unknown God.’ But it is the personal Author of the universe whose Spirit alone can set the human spirit free from its proclivity to self-inflation, self-doubt, self-absorption, and self-destruction, and free for its ‘magnificent obsession’… to know the mind of God.”
In other words, authentic inwardness always moves the spirit outward.
But it is not easy. Truly delving inward into the human self is messy, unpredictable, and unsafe. We find ourselves as Paul explained with confusion: “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15). But in plunging into the question of what it means to be human, what it means to actually live, and what it accurately looks like to fall short, we find something other than condemnation, someone other than the self for whom we were looking. For the brave human spirit in such a posture, the words of Carlo Carretto ring true, “My poor human personality has finally found the ‘Other’ with whom it may speak. The ‘Other’ is God in His being, His truth, His love. The passage to faith is radical, absolute; only God is capable of stating it, carrying it through, controlling it.”
The pull of the human self inward can be the means with which the triune God shows us a greater image of life in divine community. In this journey, the words of Isaiah and the promise of God are our own: “I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name” (Isaiah 45:3). Where we are driven to mine with integrity the dark “