Destiny Is Closer Than You Think

April 5, 2013

photo-8 copyFootball is the last, and I mean the last metaphor I ever dreamt of using to describe the soul-centered life.  This is mainly because I never understood, nor cared to understand the game… until I discovered Friday Night Lights on Netflix.  I know, I’m late to the party, but I’m making up for lost time by spending so much time with Dillon High that I’ve been rooting for the Panthers in my sleep.

And gosh dang-it, if Coach Taylor doesn’t make the most profound statements during his pre-game pep talks! In episode 12 of season 3, right before the state championship game, he fixes his eyes on his players and says, “Let me ask you just one question.  Can you play like champions?”

This got me thinking…

I imagined what it might be like to head into an unwritten, unplayed game, embodying the spirit of one who has already won. And, (spoiler alert) since the Panthers ultimately lose that game, I imagined what it might be like to continue to hold the identity of champion—based solely on the conviction that, win or lose, you played like a Spartan.

From where I sit, Champion is just one of many archetypes that may beckon us. But what captures my imagination is the idea of living out who we are destined to be, whether circumstances support the effort or not.

Let me clarify.

I’m not talking about assuming the lotus position and floating along on a cloud high above the cares of life.  I’m talking about slogging through the often harsh reality of our lives, sometimes powerfully and other times wearily (and perhaps still others in the lotus position), but in contact with that acorn of destiny within, the blueprint of the oak which is no less an oak because it has not yet branched.

And now for a biking metaphor…

There are probably moments in your life when embodying your destiny is like coasting downhill on a bike…you worked hard to pedal up that hill, and now the irresistible draw of gravity is doing the rest—you’re flying, you are one with that motion, and you are alive.

And then there are the moments in life when the bike’s tire has gone flat, it’s dark out, and you’ve lost your bearings. You don’t know how much father you can push yourself, especially when you don’t even know whether you’re going further off track or are actually headed home.

If this is one of those times, then here is the game-changing question:

What shifts when the idea of destiny moves from what you have and do to who you are?

Your dream might be to become an actor, a business owner, or a fathoms-deep-in-love partner—and these precious dreams deserve everything we’ve got.  But in my experience, destiny tends to settle a little deeper into the core of our character, and holds more sway over our who we are than over the external trappings of our lives.  It is often softly present, like a candle illuminating the way Home no matter where you are on the journey to your dreams.

One way to get to know your destiny is to ask yourself why you have the particular dreams you do. Is it because you are a born Story-teller? Are you a trail-blazing Pioneer at heart?  Maybe you are a Healer who has been binding up wounds, physical or emotional, since you were a child.  If you are never happier than when you are motivating others, then perhaps Leader is your word. Think for a moment about what brings you alive, and ask yourself what you embody in those moments.

These are the acorns to hold close, the destiny nestled deep in the ground of your beingeven when the path to your dreams seems uncertain. Life will continue to refine the way we incarnate our destiny, but that seed within endures, holding our purpose.  Return to that center.

Return to it when the world celebrates your dreams with you—and especially, return to it when life fails to recognize who you know yourself to be.  Play like a champion.  Your nighttime dreams, your art and your body can show you how.  Embrace your destiny, your center.  It has been there all along.

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