In the midst of transitions, we muddle around in the cement that will hold the new stones in place. We slop in the thick substance of hurt; we make marks that dry and harden and never go away. We are so consumed by the mess in the spaces that we can not see the new stones ahead.
Much later then, when we review the years behind us, we see the mosaic path that bears the mark of our living. The mortar that sealed those stones in place no longer frightens us with the threat of capture and death. The mess has solidified and its rough parts worn down and taken away by the winds.
Life is an eclectic disarray of significant moments; it is a collage of snapshot photos from times and experiences sealed in our psyche. The stuff of the transitions from one way of living to the next gets lost over time – it really doesn’t matter and so, later, much later, we see the happenings, but often forget the intensity of the pain that took us on to the next beautiful stone.
Transitions are perhaps the most difficult parts of our lives. Consider, for example, the movement into birth; the transformation into death. Transitions are narrow passageways; they are dark and constrictive. By their very nature they force us into limitations. They deny us wisdom, at least for the time in which they consume us. They blanket us with confusion, doubt, and fear.
It is in this state of transition, however, that we are offered the opportunity to fully relinquish our own delusion of control. It is our nature to fight and resist, of course, and we are somehow convinced that we actually have the power to do something to make it better. But transitions are God’s firm hand on our shoulder and parental command to STOP.
Jesus tells his disciples to completely trust God for all their needs: “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? …Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.” (Matthew 6:26-28)
We read this in good times and think it awesome how God takes care of even the smallest and simplest of His creation. But we think it is the stuff of fairy tales, like the birds and mice who sing and dance as they solve Cinderella’s terrible plight. When we are in need of God’s miraculous solutions to our own insurmountable problems, we read this scripture and cry out in our hearts, “HOW?!”
When we are in the dark alley ways of transitions and fighting foolishly to climb out of the muck between stones, it seems counter-intuitive to close our eyes and lay down to rest. Yet this is precisely that the scripture is saying to us, and really, it is what the transition is all about.
We are afraid that the cement will harden and trap us forever in the tiny crevice; we somehow forget that God will protect what He already owns, and we forget: God owns me. This is my mantra: Gods owns me.
I accept that I am blind and can not see; stumped by stupor and can not know. I can accept these things because I also know many things that have no words. I know that the mosaic path that bears the marks of my living is significant to me and to my descendants. I know that the hand of God that grips my shoulders with a frightful force is the same hand on which I will be taken from the slop and gently placed on my next stone. I know that the deep voice bellowing out to me, rattling my heart inside its bony cage, is the voice of my Parent who demands obedience in order for me to receive the security and love I so desperately crave.
As I muddle in yet another messy transition, I am taken by a vision to the view from above where I can see the path that is my life. Oh! What a beautiful panoramic view!
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” (Psalm 18:1-3)