Friday, 21 March 2014
The Rhythmic Waves of Life
Breathe in, breathe out….the wave rolls in and brings seaweed, dirt, floating driftwood in to touch the shore but then the wave ebbs out and recedes taking with it the majority of the residue that has touched the shore. However, some of the dirt and debris stick to the shore. As the water continuously moves around and over the debris, the tiny particles of sand wash away the rough edges leaving a smooth, polished stone or a beautiful piece of driftwood.
Life is like this. An individual day can be like this. We experience all manner of situations and feelings throughout our day. Some of the “dirty” residue clings to us. As it accumulates, it can bury us and change our demeanour or it can be smoothed out or it can be kept on the outside to be smoothed out by the rest of the day. Then it can be used as a beautiful piece of adornment to our being. We can also choose to keep it close and dwell on it so it can’t be smoothed over by the continuing movement of waves. We can choose to keep unhappy memories alive and current. They continue to keep us “stuck” in that place in the past. Or we can choose to bring them forward, let the waves of our present polish them or remove them.
For many years, I have struggled with past memories of being bullied, hurt feelings, manipulation and other negative events in my childhood. Through a long process (many, many years) of reading, talking and trying to apply new strategies, I have finally found one that works. It is very much like the waves of water in a lake. I have reached in deep to dislodge the residue that has clung to me for many years. I’m allowing the waves of my present existence to bring in the sand particles to rub the rough edges off these stones and make them smooth. Or I’m letting the waves of the present carry the dead driftwood away. Breathe in, breath out….the wave rolls in and rolls out.
I also find the analogy of an onion to be helpful. If an onion has some rotten areas in the centre, then the whole onion will not be healthy and useful. However, if you peel away the layers of the onion, you can get to the rotting centre and remove it. Then, you have some healthy parts of the onion that can still be used. This has been a very long journey that spans decades. The experience of being diagnosed with lymphoma and going through the subsequent chemotherapy to bring me into remission, has helped me to renew my motivation to continue the journey of healing from past hurts.
I have to also admit that the vision of Jesus walking beside me and holding my hand for the majority of these experiences is very comforting. Like in the poem “Footprints”, I can also see Jesus bending down to gently lift me and carry me through the roughest times like when I was in chemotherapy. He continues to walk beside me and hold my hand each day. I can even imagine him lifting me to my feet, just like a parent of a young child, when I’ve stumbled, and failed. Just like that parent, He brushes off my skinned knees, sets me back on my feet and helps me limp along through life.
I know not everyone agrees with this belief, but it works for me. Too many times in my life, I have had someone or something looking out for me. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are very much with me in my journey through life. The nasty events in life would be much too overwhelming for me if God was not with me. In university, I was first introduced to the idea that man creates God not that God creates man. There has and continues to be much debate about this. Perhaps I’m childish and naïve but I’ve removed myself from the debate. God is too real to me for me to believe that I created Him. There have been too many Godcidences in my life for me to believe that He is created by man’s need to believe in something. I don’t try to “convert” people. I just believe and try to travel through life as a better person myself.