The great mystics longed for union with God. I did not. It sounded scary to me. I would have to give up my individual self, of which I was fond, and lose myself in the ocean of divine being. Why would I want to do that?
In his spiritual memoir, Sabbatical Journey, Henri J. M. Nouwen talks about his friends, the Flying Rodleighs. The editor explains: “Much of Henri’s attraction to the trapeze performance had to do with the special relationship between the flyer and the catcher. The daredevil flyer swinging high above the crowd lets go of the trapeze to simply stretch out his arms and wait to feel the strong hands of the catcher pluck him out of the air. ‘The flyer must never catch the catcher,’ Rodleigh had told him. ‘He must wait in absolute trust.’ For Nouwen, this was the life of true faith.”
If the Flying Rodleighs were the model of true faith, I fell short. “Lord, I can’t be like the trapeze artist and throw myself totally into Your hands, into You.”
You do not understand. You would give up nothing and gain everything. Nothing will ever destroy Jerry Martin, the person you are. I will save and keep you next to Me forever.
“But does that mean my individual personality?”
It means your Soul—which has a kind of personality, though it is not identical to the personality you have in this life. But it is not as if souls were all the same, like hydrogen atoms. You have your own “character” and “fate” and these will endure. In fact, union with Me will fulfill them.
So my “Soul” would last but the rest of me would be swallowed up in the divine vastness? Thanks but no thanks.