Sunday, March 11, 2007

Transformation

Strangely enough, I think I'm finally becoming a grown-up.

It has taken me much longer than I'd like to admit.

I started off this crazily busy semester half in depressive despair, and half in angry rebellion.

Now I've become the calm center of a storm of busyness raging around me. I work long hours and tame crisis after crisis. Nothing is easy. Everything unfolds into unusual complexity. But I take it all in stride. It cannot surprise me or shake me anymore. This is just how it is, I realize with a not unhappy resignation.

I'm good at this, and I'm glad to see that, because it is going to help me through.

But this is not how I want my life always to be.

For now, I will enjoy the kind of satisfaction that handling difficulties well can bring. I watch what all of this does to me, and I am amazed. I am after all becoming stronger and wiser. And in seeing this happen, I am grateful all over again for what it reveals: the redemptive power of God's love. Yes, redemption is real. God is real.

Even my own depression and rebellion were nothing to match this. Massive as they felt at the time, they did not have the power to undermine the good work I was capable of doing. Life's intensity blasted off the chaff of my soul, revealing a strength I did not even know I had. The source of this strength is not me in myself. It is rooted in the deepest ground of my being, which is goodness, which is God, which is love.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for your testimony, CS. It is helpful as I enter a time of discernment, and of seeking to blow off the chaff.

    -- Chris M.

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  2. CS,

    One suggestion I will make is to try not to think of yourself as becoming stronger and wiser but rather as becoming lighter and more transparent. It's not your power or wisdom that it needed after all. What is needed is seeking to flow through you.

    Richard

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  3. Thank you both!

    Yes, lightness; transparency.

    And yet, the sense of feeling stronger is real -- an authentic description of my experience. And yet, even so, I do agree that the strength is not of me as such, but gathered from the ground of my being, as a tree gains its strength from the materials absorbed by its roots from the ground as it grows.

    So, yes, what is asked of me is to absorb, to grow, to let this strength develop. The strength is not of me, as such. But it is growing in me, and I am glad.

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  4. Of course lightness and transparency are metaphors and how well the metaphor works for you will be a personal thing. I too find that sometimes I do feel that aligning myself properly with God makes me feel strong. Other times the lightness or transparency metaphor seems to catch my experience better.

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