None of us go into our spiritual maturity completely of our own accord, or by a totally free choice. We are led by Mystery, which religious people rightly call grace. Most of us have to be cajoled or seduced into it, or we fall into it by some kind of "transgression," believe it or not; like Jacob finding his birthright through cunning, and Esau losing his by failure (Genesis 27). Those who walk the full and entire journey are considered "called" or "chosen" in the Bible, perhaps "fated" or "destined" in world mythology and literature, but always they are the ones who have heard some deep invitation to "something more," and set out to find it by both grace and daring. Most get little reassurance from others, or even have full confidence that they are totally right. Setting out is always a leap of faith, a risk in the deepest sense of the term, and yet an adventure too.
The familiar and the habitual are so falsely reassuring, and most of us make our homes there permanently. The new is always be definition unfamiliar and untested, so God, life, destiny, suffering have to give us a push - usually a big one - or we will not go. Someone has to make clear to us that homes are not meant to be lived in - but only to be moved out from.
Most of us are never told that we can set out from the known and the familiar to take on a further journey. Our institutions and our expectations, including our churches, are almost entirely configured to encourage, support, reward, and validate the tasks of the first half of life. Shocking and disappointing, but I think it's true. We are more struggling to survive than to thrive, more just "getting through" or trying to get to the top than finding out what is really at the top or was already at the bottom. Thomas Merton, the American monk, pointed out that we may spend our whole life climbing the ladder of success, only to find when we get to the top that our ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.