Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Get A Life!

You’ve heard the phrases; you’ve said them to yourselves and your friends––

Leave the past behind.

Don’t look back.

You can’t go back home again.

Get over it.

Get on with your life.

Let it go.

Move on.

Keep on keepin’ on.

Make tracks.

Given the plethora of entreaties for us to go forward, it must be human nature to look back and long for––

The good old days

The glory days

The vigor of youth

After all––There’s no place like home. Even if that home is Egypt for the ancient Isrealites, even if that home is slavery, or abusive relationships, or dysfunctional families, or addictions or disease.

At least all that is familiar and predictable. We know the routines, we know what to expect, we know how to get by and how to get along, even if we’re unhappy.

As soon as they got out of Egypt, before they’d even crossed the Red Sea, the Israelites were already whining in the wilderness. "Did you bring us out here to die?"

How much they were like us, how some things never change. We’re afraid of the unknown. We want road maps, travel guides, restaurant ratings, guided tours, and translators. We want to take all the guesswork out, to have a plan, a schedule.

We don’t want to lose our homes, our friends, our families, our jobs, our church, our hobbies, and our role in all of them, our place in society.

We want things to stay the same––our neighborhoods, the stores where we shop, the people who cut our hair and clean our teeth and prescribe our pills, and assess our health, the schools and those who teach our children. We don’t want them to change. We don’t want to start over with someone new, to learn to trust someone else with our lives and our care.

We want security, we want to be known and of course loved.

Not that we don’t want any change. We like it a little at a time. A new car, a new hair color, some new flowers in our window pots, a new bathmat, even a new love, as long as the preceding breakup didn’t break our hearts. We can deal with small changes that we choose.

We want to be in control. We don’t want our past to be washed out from under us as violently as the Red Sea erased any possibility of return for the Israelites. They saw graphically, in no uncertain terms that they must––

Leave the past behind.

They couldn’t look back or go home again.

They were forced to get over it, get on with their lives.

Whether they liked it our not, they had to––

Let it go

Move on

Make tracks

Keep on keepin’ on.

They had a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, and Moses, running alongside them, a bit like a drill sergeant, keeping them on the straight and narrow, when they were exhausted and frightened and lost, and faithless. Moses kept calling to them to trust God. God kept working signs and wonders. Remaining faithful.

Life isn’t easy. Wandering in the wilderness isn’t fun. But it doesn’t have to be terrible. Carrying the baggage of our past weighs us down, it’s like carting a suitcase filled with boulders—we’re so busy dragging it across the desert, hefting it up mountains, that we have no idea where we are or where we’re headed. What if we drop some of those boulders into our Red Sea and move on, start over? What if we relegated the past to memory, not current reality? Then we could be open to the present, to the small wonders that appear before us everyday.

The more we live in the present, the more we can enjoy the scenery. We can––

Let sleeping dogs lie

Let bygones be bygones

Get over it

Get a life.

1 comment:

RevErikaG said...

Or Chillax...a combo or Chill and relax!?!
This is a great post, Cathy! Fitting for a new year! Thanks! Erika