New Year periods are always the ripest to look back and review – where you have been and simultaneously, plot out the outlines of the Future you’re looking forward to.
The past few months – heck this entire 2016 – was a constant struggle for me. In all aspects. Writing (the non-mandatory kind) has taken a backseat, thus cutting me off from my own voice, my inner Jiminy Cricket.
So I go back.
Found this in the archives, so beautiful I am placing it here (from “Pilgrim’s Progress” cited in “The Sacred Romance” (Eldredge, Curtis 1997):
Pilgrim lay in despair because he had forgotten.Hopeful urges him to remember, both all he had been through as well as the assurances he has from the One who called him on the journey.Life on the road requires recollection of our Love’s past deeds on our behalf and his promise of continued faithfulness to us.We will need courage and patience and those are strengthened by remembering.We will need memory, which is to say, we will need faith.Faith looks back and draws courage; hope looks ahead and keeps desire alive.And meantime?To appreciate what it may be, we have to step back & ask, what is all this for?The resurrection of our heart, the discovery of our role in the Larger Story, entering into the Sacred Romance – why do we pursue these things?If we say we seek all of this for our own sake, we’re right back where we started: lost in our own story.Jesus said…give your life away & discover life as it was always meant to be.Self-preservation, the theme of every small story, is so deeply wrong because it violates the Trinity whose members live to bring glory to the others…We…give our glory to increase theirs. In order to fulfill the purpose of our journey, we will need a passion to increase glory; we will need love.Sa last, it talks of darkness and how sometimes, it is a part of it all.Our emptiness is often the first thing we find when we face honestly the story going on in our heart. It is the desert’s gift to us.Our mind is busy with “oughts” …”while the heart instructs us on what is.If we allow our mind simply to listen, we perhaps begin to hear our heart speak – faintly,..It says “I am so weary, so lost. I have no energy to redeem myself, how I long for rest.”….Resting in Jesus is not applying a spiritual formula to ourselves as a kind of fix-it.It is the essence of repentance.It is letting our heart tell us where we are in our own story so that Jesus can minister to us out of the Story of his love for us.When, in a given moment, we lay down our false self and the smaller story of whatever performance has sustained us, when we give up everything else but him, we experience the freedom of knowing that he simply loves us where we are.We begin just to be, having our identity anchored in him.’