Saturday, March 6, 2010

Whatever you do... DON'T LET GO, LAZARUS!

I went for a job interview yesterday – quite the experience. I was telling about my having had some time to step back from the rat race; how it gave me an opportunity for introspection and re-evaluating where I’m at in my life, and also as a person.

After this time of being aside for a while I find myself excited about getting involved with something new. I’m looking forward to trying different things and exploring new dimensions of myself, my abilities and my future. I’m ready for a new beginning.

Someone in the interview nailed it: LASARUS

I did not even consider this until that moment, but this is truly a new time of awakening in my life. What an amazing way of looking at it!

New beginnings aren’t always rising from the dead per se, but even just getting up from a horrific dragging in the mud. New beginnings are exciting. Thank God for new beginnings. Where would I be without it?

How many times have you begun again? What did you learn about yourself through the experience of falling down, as well as rising up again? Each of these has their own lessons to teach.

Falling down is hard – no, let me rephrase: Falling down is easy. It is being down and getting up again that is challenging; That moment when you realize that you’re lying naked in the valley below, the mountain top seeming an unattainable figment of your imagination. Failure is not easy to deal with, but it is the stronger one who rises up, dusts off and begins again.

I often have the imagery in my mind of the man pushing the plow in the field behind the oxen. The Bible says that once you’ve put your hand to the plough you should not turn back. Come to think of it, Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back. Looking back… turning back… doesn’t sound like a good idea to me… God does not strike me as a God of the past… except when He wants to remind us of all the goodness that He’s shown to us over time and how He’s faithfully proven His love time and again. We need to be reminded from time to time, especially when you’re lying face down in the mud.

Let’s get back to the plow, shall we? In life we’re daily plowing fields; the plow behind the oxen. Sometimes it happens that we stumble and fall down. Here’s my take on this:

Whatever you do, DON’T LET GO!!

I just imagine dragging behind the plow; the oxen has not stopped – just like life doesn’t stop when we face difficulty. The question, however, is what you’re doing; the one dragging behind, face in the mud?

It usually is not a pretty sight; frankly, I think it stinks! Do you let go? Oh HEAVENS NO! If you do, you undeniably stay behind; you’re dead; another one bites the dust. Later, when things change, you are not there for it. You’re lying face down, covered in dirt, way back where… BUT if you hold on,…

Boy, if you hold on even while dragging face down in the mud, barely able to breath, BUT YOU’RE HOLDING ON…. Then it doesn’t matter what you look like (or smell like) - - - you’re undeniably MOVING FORWARD!!!! You may look the same than the guy who is lying way back where in the mud, but you are NOT the same. You’ve traveled the distance!

Then, when you manage to fight your way back up on your feet, slowly but surely cleaning the mud from your eyes and nostrils, you realize that the scenery has changed – you start seeing the light and smelling the roses again - and you’re relieved that you held on for dear life; mud and all.

Once you’ve tapped into that place of “I CAN”, getting back up is a great place to be; rising up from the dead; LASARUS

The only reason why you should be looking back is to see how far you’ve come, and to revel in the awesome grace of new beginnings.

When you’re dusting off and cleaning out your pockets, keep in your little backpack: the gems you’ve gained in relationships, the pearls of wisdom that you’ve learnt and the diamonds of experiences that you’ve held against the light and found worthy of taking on the journey with you.

Throw out the rocks and dirt of guilt, regret, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. that only weighs you down, stealing your joy and peace and tripping you up.

Travel lighter and be sure to hold on to what really matters.

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