| Anne Williamson |
Recently, for an article coming out in October on WAYfinding, I was asked this question, "What's your ultimate goal?" My response:
For me, one of the most interesting and important questions in life is: To what do you live faithfully? Because, we all live faithfully to something. As theologian Paul Tillich would say, “We all have an Ultimate Concern.” You would think this would be a question we’d be encouraged to explore in school, at work, at home – since it impacts everything we do – but it’s generally not. Often, our Ultimate Concern develops and resides in our subconscious alone. For me, this is no good. Our Ultimate Concern, that to which we live faithfully, needs to be drawn out and evaluated: Is it what you thought? Is it worthy of your whole life?
On a deep level, this is the point of WAYfinding: to help people discover an Ultimate Concern worthy of their whole life. And then, to help them learn to live faithfully to that Concern everyday, to learn to listen to it. This, to me, is faith, and it requires a kind of bravery and permission beyond the mandatory checking of certain belief boxes.
This, then, is why, in WAYfinding, our lens, our shared commitment, is not a statement of beliefs but a process. We use the metaphor of pedaling a bike through - and through again and again - ten comprehensive points (see below) because to discover an Ultimate Concern worthy of your whole life, your whole life must be involved in the discovering. How you love, pray or not, talk about yourself and others, stand and act on issues of justice, serve, sit in silence, view your money and this earth, work, play, feel joy and gratitude and awe, love your body and the bodies of others, what voices you value, what voices you ridicule, the variety of voices you hear, and on and on... all matter. Each points you to your Ultimate Concern. Each helps you edit it, and then listen and align your life more deeply to it.
Ten points is a lot. We know. But, it's not about pressure or perfectionism; it's about giving you permission and encouragement to explore it all! Your whole life is speaking to you. Your whole life matters. How peaceful and brimming with joy would it feel if your whole life also told one story - the story of what you hoped in, what you loved, to what you listened and lived faithfully everyday.