At various points throughout my journey, I found myself here, standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Each time I arrive I realize I’ve come that much further in this journey called life. And with each visit I’m subtly reminded that life flies by much faster than it seems.
As a high school senior, I visited these steps for the first time as a stubborn overachiever, sure of the path I was supposed to take. As a harvard intern, I returned to these steps with a heart that was eagerly searching for… well, anything that could fulfill the hunger inside me. As a fresh graduate, I came here as an optimist, thinking I was well on my trek to the figurative mountaintop in my quest to accomplish “more.” As an employee at my first job I made my return as a lost soul, unable to accept the reality that the success I thought would fulfill my life wasn’t what I was actually looking for. As an employee at my second job, I made the decision on these steps that I would quit DC altogether and escape to find that fulfillment in an entirely different platform.
A couple years later, I found my way back to these steps more lost, distraught and broken than I had ever felt in my life. I spent several hours here that day, this time choosing to sit in a silent corner at the back. And when it felt safe enough, I broke down in tears. What I had been chasing after all these years was only fueling the sense of depravity in me. It was here that I made the decision to leave my job..again.
But the decision seemed to be much bigger that that: in the months that followed I would decide I was done chasing altogether.
I chose to surrender. And that was in a sense what my whole life up until this point was building towards, the decision to give it all up. To give my life to God. And that moment changed everything.
I returned to these steps today with Jan, a bit over a year after my last visit. And again, I realize I’m different than the last time. But this time different… in a different way. I stood on the steps of the Lincoln memorial no longer a slave to the striving and fear I was once controlled by. Instead I could sense that I have stepped into something new. Something free.
I took a moment to let it soak in as I sat there holding Jan’s hand. This was her first visit, surely not our last. I can only wonder how my life will change each time I do get to return. But one thing I am sure of: I don’t have to leave these steps to go back and continue my search for… that something. I know that I have found what I was looking for.