Today no one would doubt that it’s Spring, even here in New England. Nothing is budding yet, but it’s sunny and 70, and you can see a hint of leaf buds on the trees. When it was sleeting last week, we had some skeptics. Even last Saturday, there was still a layer of ice on the lake. It reminds me that despite what I see as reality, there’s always the possibility of God’s goodness unfolding even as I speak. I want to live out of that place of hope and freedom as I attempt to practice the resurrection.
How do I begin to do that? At the end of his book Immortal Diamond, Richard Rohr lists 12 ways to practice resurrection now. I hope to focus on one each week and reflect on it and let it trickle down. Maybe it will lead me into something new as I lean into God’s love. The first is “Refuse to identify with negative, blaming, antagonistic or fearful thoughts.” (He notes that we can’t keep from having them.) But we don’t have to engage and let them take us down a dark path. We have thoughts, but we are more than our thoughts. And these aren’t thoughts that bring Life. We can notice them and let them go and give ourselves grace. How is this part of walking in newness of life? For me, fear is usually the thing that trips me up and keeps me from stepping into life, so refusing to listen to anxious or self-demeaning thoughts helps free me to be present and open to new possibilities. It makes me want to search for my true self, that person I was created to be. If I refuse to entertain those negative, critical thoughts I might notice there’s more going on than meets the eye.
How can I break out of the cycle? In my fear of conflict, I can stop the cynicism and enter into it without baggage. In my anxiety about my performance or how others might perceive me, I can remind myself God loves me just like I am, whether I ace or bomb things in my own eyes. Awareness is the first step, especially as I hear those voices in my head that are so loud they seem like my own. Voices that pepper me with anxieties about what I “should” do or who I “ought to” be. These are not God’s voice, and they don’t reflect how he sees me. God invites me to set aside my limited perspective and wait, remaining open to the possibility of something more. What does he have for me? I don’t want to miss it.
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19.