Sharing the mystery

CIMG3677Gazing at the mysterious

I have an uneasy relationship with Facebook. To me, this form of media is part blessing and part curse. I love that I can stay connected to my family and friends while living thousands of kilometres away from them but I dislike the distraction it can become when I read my newsfeed and I get caught up in the lives, and frequently, the opinions, of others. Especially when I feel I ought to be present in the moment of my day and living my life fully right now. Facebook often seems to take from my life rather than to give.

But this week I have been pondering mystery. Mystery abundant and at work in my life and in all of our lives. By mystery, I mean the mystery of God. I’ve been thinking about my life journey thus far (especially as I am getting closer to the halfway mark of my year in the Philippines) and about how God has been guiding me.

Sometimes I’ve caught myself thinking what am I doing here? Not in the sense that I want to go home, but just, why am I in the place that I am now? As much as I think about it, I can’t really explain it. I don’t know why I have a preference for religious life over marriage and family life or even just being single. It seemed to me growing up that I would get married and have a family but then…. I didn’t. I discovered that it isn’t what I desire for my life. For some reason, this life, where I am right now, is what I desire. I recognize that I am living in mystery.

As I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed this week, I am struck also by the mystery of other peoples’ lives. The mystery of God working in them, shaping them, giving them rich and abundant lives, whether what they share on Facebook is joyful or sorrowful, angry or fearful. We’re sharing mystery all over the place. It’s in the photos of my younger brother’s high school graduation. It’s in the photos and posts of my older brother’s job and travels in Vancouver. It’s in my friends’ photos and posts about their children and growing families. It’s in posts about death and grieving. It’s in posts about tragedy and wide-scale suffering. It’s in the opinions and rants that show the world what we care deeply about. Facebook is permeated with the mystery of life. And it’s beautiful.

This week, by the grace of God, all I feel is gratitude for the way that social media allows us to reveal, to some degree, the mystery of our lives. When we share, it helps us to understand that we are interconnected. Our lives our important to one another, just as they are important to our creator. Our lives are the constant revealing of mystery.

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Malcolm Guite

Blog for poet and singer-songwriter Malcolm Guite

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