There was a time in my life when I thought I wanted to be famous. Well, maybe not famous, but at least notable. When we took the Meyers-Briggs personality test in high school and college, I would undoubtedly always get the “Extrovert” E. I used to love meeting as many people as possible, being included in major events, going to parties where there would be lots of people, making an impression.
As I got older and began my career in ministry, I thought it would be great to become a public speaker. Maybe not be on a major circuit, but at least on a minor one where I got to travel and meet lots of people and be a recognizable name. I wanted people calling me because they were so impressed with my public speaking skills.
I used to give out my cell phone number like it was free candy. I didn’t care who had it and I generously asked people to text me or call me whenever they needed to or if they ever had a problem or needed advice. I wanted to “be there” for them.
But, I can safely say that that time in my life has certainly passed.
I don’t know when, exactly, I switched over to the Introverted “I” in the Meyers-Briggs personality test. I once heard a friend in ministry say that he was an “extroverted introvert” – a term which I could completely relate to. Sure, I don’t have a problem talking to people and speaking in front of a large crowd (or being a Lector at Mass) doesn’t faze me in the least. But, I don’t really want to go to parties or events with large crowds anymore.
And, practically everyday, I wish I could change my cell phone number so that no one except a very select few would have it.
I often think, too, “Maybe i should just delete all my e-mail accounts and create a new, secret one, and not give out the address to many people.”
Heck, it’s even crossed my mind to delete my 6 year old Facebook account and get a fresh start with a new, friendless one.
It’s not that I don’t like people or that I want to be secluded from the world. But, I’ve realized that the idea of Holy Family’s “hidden years” appeals to me so much. Being a housewife and mother, known to my family and some close friends is enough excitement and drama for me. Nurturing those relationships and working on myself – trying to be the best wife, mother, sister, and friend that I can – seems like enough daily challenge for me.
I don’t want you to think that I am trying to bury my talents away so that I don’t have to risk anything with them. And, I’m definitely not about trying to avoid what God is calling me to do (I think I have the conscience AND support system to be made aware of something that God might want me to do).
On the contrary, I think this IS what God is calling me to – a hidden life, away from the drama and needs and distractions of other people’s issues and lives. I feel that He’s calling me back to a simple life with better focus, one that seems almost basic. I’ve become distracted and busy and lost in the world.
My goal in this “hidden life” is to reestablish my complete dependance on Him and pray as St. Terese did, “Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be – and becoming that person.”
She goes even further and says, “Our Lord needs from us neither great deeds nor profound thoughts. Neither intelligence nor talents. He cherishes simplicity.”
And, so, that’s my desire, a non-complicated, simple, hidden life. I don’t think it’s too much to ask from the Lord, but it might be a lot to ask of the world!