Teshuva Your Way To Your True Self
We ourselves are the infinitely small and the infinitely great. And we are the path between the two. - Khalil Gibran
The Gospel of Mark (1:15) notes the first words Jesus speaks when he begins his ministry as these:
The time has come. Turn around and believe the good news!Most of you would find that in your version of the Bible the phrase "turn around" is actually translated as "repent." This simple translation has often been misinterpreted as the act of asking forgiveness for sins you've committed.
The Hebrew word for repentance is teshuva, which actually means "a returning" or a "turning around."
Teshuva signifies a change of direction, a transformation that alters the trajectory of the person who is "repenting," and essentially returns them to their proper path.
In other words, it's about changing your direction---the one that leads you farther away from being authentically you, and becoming the person you were meant to be... the person you really are.
Richard Rohr believes that when we are pursuing God as an end (rather than a means to an end), we will have many moments of teshuva in our journey. He writes:
The authentic religious life is a matter of becoming who we already are, and all that we truly are!If you are intent on becoming the person that God longs for you to be... the person you were created to become... then you will need to have moments where you turn back, and change course.
You will need to have teshuva moments where you realize the direction you are taking is leading you farther and farther away from your truest self, and you need to turn back.
Stumbling after Jesus is about constant turning, constant changing, constant recalibration of your direction. Because we are "prone to wander" as the old hymn suggests.
The poet Khalil Gibran suggests that if we are wise we will begin to realize that all we need to in order to discover the true kingdom of God is already within us, just as Jesus taught.
If you feel directionless in your life... If you are wondering whether you will ever find peace... If you long to be your truest, most joyous self... then know this:
The kingdom of God is within you... Infinite possibilities are within you... The power to change direction is within you. Turn around, and believe this good news.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.