Everyone has a constant in his or her life ; the constant is that very fundamental element that reminds the person of who he/she is, what the individual stands for, and it’s that constant that gives meaning to the individual’s whole being and existence. Think of the constant like the totem from the movie Inception, where the characters in the movie each need to develop a totem – a personalised item which only each person knows. The Totem is used to assure the characters in the movie that they’re in the real world and not in some layered dream state level.
Likewise in our own lives today, we too have such constants to remind us of what is real and important to us. I reflected on this during my Europe trip as I found solace and comfort in attending the mass. Although the trip was hectic during some days, I am glad I still managed to make room for my constant – our Lord and even though the masses I attended were not in English, I still felt welcomed and at home. I was with my constant – the One who has been with me all this while and it felt really renewing to attend it during the mornings. I would wake up at around 7.00 am and walk to the nearest church (there were plenty) while my travelling companions were still asleep.
In a way I welcomed this way of life – to start the day with Our Lord while others are still asleep. I felt it sort of gave me that space and time to just be alone with God, and to receive him in the Eucharist in the first thing in the morning was just a blessing in itself for me.
In the past whenever I am faced with challenges, like a desperate son, I would turn back to my Father, repent and be reunited with him. I guess you could say that part of me doing that is because of guilt – I didn’t want God’s punishment. But I realised that as time moved on, I became more and more interested in building a relationship with Him, not just from a needs-based relationship, but from a dynamic and accepting perspective. I wanted to BE WITH Him rather than just approach him in times of difficulty.
And over time, as I began adopting and habitually internalizing this concept and way of thinking about God, I realised that my relationship with God improved. He slowly became my rock, not just a rock for refuge, but a rock for me to live my life , a rock which has magnetic properties that guides and points my compass in the right direction. This Rock, over the years, through prayer, study and meditation (and lots of effort and grace) would eventually become my constant.
I have noted earlier that constants are there in our lives to give meaning and significance. Some people base their constant on their families, or their bank accounts or their careers. Whatever it is, it is so important to remember to have these constants in one’s life because without them, just as how a boat will float without proper anchorage, so would we as well, and the lack of having a proper footing in the ground has its consequences. It becomes scarier as you age.
It’s important to take the time and think for a moment what is that constant in your life and the process starts by first figuring out what matters to you most, just as how I discovered during my Euro trip, that ultimately, my constant, no matter how difficult or distracting the circumstances might be, will always and only rest in God.
“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee..”
– Augustine of Hippo