This past week I have been at a conference put on by the Center for Progressive Renewal. The theme was Prophetic Renewal in the Church. The week was filled with ideas and realities of the state of many Christian churches in the United States. There is a lot of exciting energy out there for renewing and re-imagining ways to be community and share the amazing message of the Church. The most heart felt and challenging parts of the weekend were the conversations around those who are closed to change. How do you live in what is – that the way we communicate the Good News is changing, and that people are fine with that so long as nothing in their lives change.
This really had me thinking about change and the spiritual journey. I don’t know about you but I do tend to love certainty. Certainty is like a security blanket. As we know life is not certain. Change from outside ourselves happens all the time. That is why change within is so difficult. I CAN CONTROL that . I do not have to change my mind. There. You can’t make me. I have something in my life I can control. If what is inside me changes then what’s left? Where will I find my security? That desire for certainty is so strong for many it is worth dying for.
Yet what I have seen in my own life is, I change my internal mind all the time. Think about the certainties about God at age 12, 22 and now. Some parts of that certainty have probably changed. Maybe you have a certainty about the church right now. I know I have. Yet as I continue this walk with God I find that the only way to truly grow and be open is to hold my certainty lightly. To have an open hand. If my fist is closed then I cannot holdanother’s. The ultimate death of self is the willingness to die to the certainty of mind. When I no longer control that then I can truly listen and commune with the Divine is such a deep and exciting way. Nothing keeps me from sharing that love. Then I remember Romans 12:2
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I think it is important to say change is hard, weird and uncomfortable. It is important to have community around that can let you sit in the strange and often scary place of change and to be community that allows others to change. (not letting others change is part of OUR certainty). When we are excited about change it’s easy to make the other the enemy because we are now certain this is the way to go. What if we all just listened and sat in the messiness of uncertainty with respect to how hard it is to let go of that security blanket. If you wish to explore this further through spiritual direction please fill out the form on the contact page.
Practice: Make a list of certainties about yourself and those around you. Bring that list to God.