Transformation can be scary! Deconstruction of what you think you know, exchanged for what you are learning to be true can be painful and awfully frightening, but looking from the inside out, it’s a good place to be. When the blinders come off and you can see all around you… the horizon is beyond beautiful!
It’s funny how it all seems so right when you are stuck in the middle, until you get to the end, look back and can see the road laid out behind you.
the ripping away,
the sprout of new growth,
the necessary transforming, that without it all leaves you stagnant and stunted.
Each of us is created for an amazing purpose, our own unique trail to blaze, frontier to conquer, wild west to explore! You were created for this! I was created for this! But we get stuck in small thinking and small places and we conform to fit into the smallness of what we know.
It’s not your fault, neither mine. It is, in fact, part of the process. We need the constructs to make us whole until we outgrow them but we must stay awake to notice when they stop fitting. One of the obstacles in our humanness is that we fall asleep!! We fall asleep in our comfort zones.
Jesus didn’t fall asleep – He lived life awake, every bit of it – the joy, the sorrow, being present in the moment, the dread of what was coming – He felt it all – FULLY AWAKE! And He never tires of inviting us to this FULLY AWAKE life.
He invites us into the labyrinth to wrestle with what is and what will be! A place of letting go and surrender. I have read about labyrinths recently, they kept coming across my path… I love how that happens. I find when God wants to teach me about something new, He just keeps bringing it up – He is relentless this way, and I am so grateful for it because my distracted mind misses so much sleepwalking through life.
As He would have it, a door opened for me to experience the power of the labyrinth at a new friend’s home. Just something she has in her backyard, ha! No biggie! I want one in mine now!!
This sweet surrender has been transformational. There is one way in and one way out. The ritual of walking, barefoot, grounding to the earth, feeling the beat of the earth as yours and “hers” become one – syncing into rhythm. The ritual of the labyrinth is one of shedding.
You shed and shed and shed and shed and shed…
And when you think you are done…there is more to shed.
We are vehicles for so much in this world – we pick up hitchhikers, strangers, and even those we consider friends along the way that weigh and slow us down. Faulty belief systems, negative energies, broken dramas, rigidity, trauma…all slowing our progress on our paths sketched out by God. I am so grateful for His patience with me because I get turned around, I get lost, I get way off course and He is faithful to travel alongside me, even on the wayward paths, until I find my way back to the road carved for me.
The labyrinth reminds me that I am in need of molting. Shedding the parts of me I no longer need, the parts I have outgrown. Skin too tight for this new space I find myself in, coming to the center of the labyrinth, the center of myself! I shed…
As I love myself to wholeness, I can love others in this space, seeing their whole, healed, transformed selves as well. Richard Rohr speaks about this in his book The Naked Now, which he calls the “Principle of Likeness” different from the Law of Attraction. In the Law of Attraction it is believed that we attract to us, or draw to us, the good things in life we desire. The “Principle of Likeness” is the belief that “we mend and renew the world by strengthening inside ourselves what we seek outside ourselves…”
Rohr continues, “If you want others to be more loving, choose to love first.”
“If you want a reconciled outer world, reconcile your own inner world.”
“If you are working for peace out there, create it inside as well.”
“If you notice other people’s irritability, let go of your own.”
“If you wish to find some outer stillness, find it within yourself.”
“If you are working for justice, treat ourself justly, too.”
“If you find yourself resenting the faults of others, stop resenting your own.”
“If the world seems desperate, let go of your own despair.”
“If you want a just world, start being just in a small ways yourself.”
“If your situation feels hopeless, honor the one spot of hope inside of you.”
“If you want to find God, then honor God within you, and you will always see God beyond you. For it is only God in you who knows where and how to look for God.”
Can you see the need for shedding, the need to journey to the center of the labyrinth to let go and leave the parts of ourselves that no longer serve you, that weigh you down, that tighten and restrict, that keep you blinded to yourself and others, that keep you believing that change it outside of you, someone else’s fault, not required??
Shedding is necessary. God demands it! It took 40 years for the Israelites to shed old skin, old beliefs systems, old ways of doing things…40 years. This was not a punishment, it just was! It was what was needed for shedding to be complete. It took 14 years between Joseph’s dream and his appointment to 2nd in command of Egypt. It was 15 years between the time David was anointed king and when he actually became king. Shedding is necessary! Between the promise and the palace is the process and none of us can escape the process. It is what prepares you for the throne you are called to. Without the process you will never be able or readied to stay seated upon the throne promised for you.
And it is not a ONE TIME and DONE thing. It is a journey — a continual sluffing off of old skin along the way. A constant renewal of skin and bone, heart and marrow, cell after cell, changing our very DNA to be made new. New creations – each decade, each year, each day, each second!
We shed and grow into new skin until it gets too tight and we shed again,
until we stand before the Lord at His throne and “It Is Finished.” Steffany Gretzinger says it best, “All of life is the undoing!” And as we breathe in our last breath in this reality, we are ushered forever into the next, kneeling before His presence, UNDONE!
Shedding is necessary and it is the work of this life!