August 4–Return Again: And again

It’s the second word of this hymn that we are reflecting on this month.

Return again, return again
Return to the home of your soul
Return again, return again
Return to the home of your soul
Return to who you are
Return to what you are
Return to where you are
Born and reborn again.

This word is repeated again and again.  I reflected yesterday on what I think often happens to babies when they are born:  that parents for all kinds of reasons good and not so good anxiously begin to try and shape the life of the child.  That’s probably been done to all of us to some degree by parents who were doing their best.  We can only honor them and their efforts–especially those of us who are parents.  We understand.

In that kind of shaping of our lives, I think we “learn” lessons about perfection.  We are supposed to rise to it, and of course, none of us are capable of some pure notion of perfection which comes to mean no flaws, no mistakes.

What if we had received the message, early in our life, that instead of aiming for flawlessness, we should aim for a life that we live until we are completely finished?  (That’s what the Latin root of the word “perfect” means).  Wouldn’t that guide us very differently? With that directive, we could go about living our lives as the true souls we are, making mistakes and returning again and again to the direction of who we really are, the direction of living until we are completely finished.

Again.  It means back up and start over.  Why not?

Bob Patrick

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