The Anchoress, over at First Things today, quotes theologian Timothy Muldoon:
“The Lord of the visible and invisible is calling to us through the voice of our most authentic selves with the words “discover your real self. Then give it away.”
I find this very interesting. It undermines, beautifully, the broken, self-immolating, idea of service that so many Christians (especially women) are subjected to.
First. It is only logical that we can only truly give ourselves away if it is truly ourselves that we give. If we give something other than what we truly are, we give falsely, and indeed, we give what is not our own to give. We can only righteously and rightfully give that which God has given to us.
Second. The process of self discovery is not merely for self-gratification, or for the ever-ellusive self fulfillment. It is to discover what it is that we have to give.
Third. God made us in order for us to be give ourselves away. It is only in the giving that the purpose of our being finds completion. Merely discovering ourselves cannot bring fulfillment. That would be like laying the meal out on the table and then standing there and smelling it, but refusing to eat. Only the meal consumed has, as we cheekily tell the kids, fulfilled its destiny.
(Hey there--aren't you going to eat your dinner? You're making your food feel bad, sitting there on your plate. It wants to be eaten. Being eaten is its purpose in life. Listen--can't you hear your broccoli saying, "Eat me! Eat me! I taste good!)