“Before you leave
You must know you are beloved
And before you leave
Remember I was with you”
- Mumford & Sons
A good friend of mine purchased a time machine. It cost less than you might think and almost nothing to run. Every experience with it takes him back into his life and story, reminds him of things he’s forgotten, and helps him excavate essential treasure needed for the next step of his journey.
I swear he’s five years younger and that is from just the first few weeks into climbing aboard. There is a childlike quality about the way he describes the experience. There has been a new category unlocked in him and I don’t think he will ever be the same as a result.
His time machine has two wheels, mine might require more.
There is an essential season required for the development of every man and woman. It goes by many different names, but one of my favorite authors refers to it as the stage of being the beloved son or daughter. It comes earliest in life and should teach us that we are delighted in and are safe. It is meant to teach us that we have a good father who loves us, wants what is best for us, and that we have nothing to fear.
It is a season of wonder, joy, adventure, and endless surprises.
But guess what happens when you aren’t the beloved son or daughter? There is an innocence lost. The world doesn’t feel as safe. We don’t expect and look for good, but expect the worse. We don’t assume that authority figures have our best interest at heart and likely ascribe the same to God. It makes us feel isolated and that we are left to do life on our own.
You know that feeling.
Good news is that the entire gospel narrative is about a loving father’s relentless pursuit of restoration to his children. To take all those broken and incomplete places, all those misconceptions, and restore that relationship to fullness. He even desires to remind us that we are beloved daughters and sons if that is something we somehow missed.
Recovering that treasure may be the most elusive one of all…and the most important. It is seminal to the journey of becoming wholehearted and free. It is a key step on the path to becoming fully alive.
There are different ways to reclaim this precious treasure. One comes by spending a few grand on a time machine and letting it port you back to a younger and more unfettered time in your life. At least for a moment. The other is free, but will cost you everything. It will require uncommon courage, the letting go of every misconception, and willingness to surrender every other treasure you possess that has anesthetized the lack of knowing that you are truly the beloved of God.
It is the pathway to becoming a more whole-hearted leader, parent, and spouse. And once you truly know that you are the beloved son/daughter of God, your life will be irrevocably changed. Instead of needing so much confirmation from others, you will become a source of affirmation of others (maybe even a fountain).
For your kids.
For your spouse.
For your employees.
For pretty much everyone.
Get to a really quiet place at a time of day where your mind is most open and clear.
Carve out at least an hour or so where you will not be disturbed or rushed.
Quiet your heart and mind and ask a simple question: Father, what do you think of me?
Put pencil to paper, trusting a response will come, and see what happens. (I’ve written until my hand has gotten tired.)
And then let me know what happens.