Being made in the image of God means we are creative beings. We are not created once, but keep recreating ourselves through many life stages. Life circumstances can unfold in ways that nudge us off one course and onto another. We all stand in need of occasional course corrections. The most alert and observant among us will be the first to recognize the need. Whereas Jews take inventory of needed course corrections in the days leading up to Yom Kippur, many Christians do so in the days leading up to Easter. Next week marks the beginning of Lent, an occasion that invites us to ponder where we have veered off course so that we can expose those places to God’s creative power for healing, forgiveness and spiritual renewal.
I want to dispel the notion that the practice of introspection is appropriate only for people who have veered way off course or made grave mistakes. God extends an open invitation to intimacy to us all. Every person who seeks to be in a more vigorous relationship with God will gain from a serious examination of what is getting in the way of that relationship. Examining the 4 types of choices we have made is one way to approach this introspection.
Maybe you are not sure where your life is going. Maybe you’re lost or not sure if you are on the right course. Maybe you’re certain you are on the wrong course. Perhaps you’re stuck in doldrums, paralyzed by pain, shame, guilt, or wounds that won’t heal. Maybe you are in so much pain you can’t wait for change, any change, to escape your current torment. Or maybe you are comfortable with “the devil you know” and hesitate to believe in the transformation that is being offered to you.
Perhaps you are in need of healing after a rough patch of road, like a failed marriage or the death of a loved partner. Being healed could give you freedom and energy to start a new stage of your life. Or perhaps you anticipate a rough road ahead–a diagnosis, a trial or an ending–that begs for strength.
Maybe you are in transition between life stages, stepping up to new responsibilities–marriage, parenthood, a new career direction–where the challenges call for new strength. Or maybe you have already made significant positive changes in your life and you don’t want to rest on your laurels but to use your freedom to seek more awareness and intimacy with God. Maybe your life path has been free of moral crisis and brokenness, and you simply wish to respond to the abundance of God’s grace in your life by drawing closer to him.
Whatever has brought you to the place where you now stand, you are in receipt of an invitation. You are invited to spiritual renewal. The invitation places you at a crossroads. You may choose to accept or to decline. To accept is to be transformed, to experience life in a more joyful and freer way. To decline is to leave unopened a great gift set before you.
Join the conversation. Will you rely on your own power or God’s power to change your course?
Copyright 2011 Stephanie Walker All rights reserved. Visit http://www.AcrossTraditions.com.