"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
"Childhood lasts as long as we allow ourselves to think expansively, act freely, and be new. The secret of youth is open and adaptive thinking. We are eagles." In his book, "The Dragon Doesn't Live Here Anymore," Alan Cohen is talking about breaking molds.
We were just given the opportunity to break the mold of our daily routine when we lost our electricity due to the ice storm on Wednesday. For 32 hours we had to get our water from a gallon jug; flush toilets using buckets of melted snow; cook our food over sterno and in the fireplace, which we also used to keep the dining room at a comfortable, but chilly 62 degrees; and used candlelight/flashlights to read by and do everything else that required light to do. I can't tell you how many times I flipped the light switch when I entered a dark room. Or how many times I thought I should check my e-mail.
I remember when our first child was an infant I followed the charts closely to see if he was acquiring the new skills expected at that age. I was always amazed how much his abilities advanced whenever we took him on vacation. It seemed his little mind and body always responded with a new skill when we gave him a new environment to explore.
As we grow into adulthood we too often get in a rut. Vacations that take us out of our element often refresh and energize us, but it's not long before we're once again doing things by rote. As a busy Mom I was guilty of doing this because having a routine was efficient. But Cohen is talking more about ways of thinking. When we lost power I could have reacted to the changes and inconvenience it caused by being irritable. Instead, I adapted...and because I was prepared for this sort of thing to happen (from past experiences), I had all the supplies I needed to meet our basic needs. I quite enjoyed the change of pace. Adding another comforter to our bed brought back memories of the unheated bedroom at my grandmother's house, snuggled in her feather bed under piles of quilts.
I think Cohen sums it up perfectly when he says, "Patterns [routines] were given to serve us--not for us to live for them." Do you get out of sorts when your routine is interrupted? Then it is not serving you. You are a slave to it. If you want to truly experience freedom you must be open to new ways of seeing life, new ways of being in it.
When Christ came he spoke to his followers thus, "Truly, I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:15) People had their minds set on how to get into Heaven. Scripture had prophesied how it would be, but still they could not see it because their minds and hearts were closed to the Truth. They had their religious (i.e., meticulous, strict, rigorous) ways of seeing life.
Are you religious in this way? Or are you open to the Holy Spirit in you? Do you respond to His leading like an obedient child would to his or her trusted parent?
Father, may I no longer rely on "form" as a way of life, but instead rely solely on You.
Link to scripture: Galatians 5:25