I was kicking a soccer ball against a wall this morning as the boys were shooting a few hoops at the local YMCA and remembered the endless hours I played soccer as a teenager. Soccer was my life then, but some time around college, I moved on to other things.
Today, I sometimes wonder at the intensity professional players go at each other. What a strange game, mano-a-mano, completely set up by the rules of man; when in fact you could enjoy the creativity and abundance offered by life as people work in cooperation and harmony. Yet, we have to work off our nature. For some it is physical competition, for others it is status, professional recognition or material success; for yet others the desire to be special can be very subtle indeed; the best mom, the most perfect spouse, or the most effective spiritual leader.
Yet, in a way, all of this doesn't matter. The ego longs for self-expression and the Self patiently waits until the competitive drive exhausts itself. Only then will the true spiritual function come to the surface. The ego identifies with and solidifies specialness, while the Self transforms this function and makes God's world complete with the help of your unique talents. Says C. G. Jung:
The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.
Where are you in your life story? Are you still expanding your function in this world or has your Home-coming journey already started?