Everybody sees the world from their point of view. The question is, “What is your point of view and how does that point of view affect the way you exist in the world?” Why do we receive some things and reject others? We are going to continue with the metaphor of learning to walk again, but let’s take for a moment the perspective of a child who has not yet learnt how to walk. They experience the world from a very different perspective. They see a world of tall slender polls, carpet fibers up close, light sources that appear high above their heads. From carpet level, kids see the world in pieces – a coffee table can obstruct their entire view.
When a child learns to stand and walk, something amazing happens – they are not just walking, they are seeing the world from an entirely different perspective. All of a sudden, a room that was broken up and way above them is seen from a higher perspective. The child sees how the pieces of the room fit together. This illustration is very much like the movement that happens Spiritually in our lives which Paul calls “growing in Christ” or “becoming Spiritually mature”. There is an evolution in our Spiritual journey which is, as we evolve, grow and are renewed, we begin to see the world as it actually is.
When we first experience the love of God, for most people things are very black and white. There are good things and bad things. There is sin and righteousness. But as we mature, we begin to gain a new perspective – a new point of view. We begin to see how everything that exists in this world is of a Spiritual nature, and just as the room comes into focus as the child begins to stand, so too, we begin to see the world we exist in, in a new way where God is part of everything that is.
This new perspective requires us to change. It requires us to let go of some of our early faith assumptions. Primarily, it requires us to let go of the black and white orientation when it comes to Spiritual matters and it invites us to see that everything that is belongs; none of it will be wasted by God. But, this perspective is very hard to accept because it asks us to accept, both in ourselves and in others, realities that we are inclined to be afraid of.
We are invited to accept that we are always both beautiful and ugly, that we are both selfless and selfish. And, we are invited to accept that others are as well and we cannot change this – only accept this. It is these very things that we are asked to accept that God uses as tools to transform us.
In our early Spiritual consciousness we think our job is to resist that which we decide is evil: resist situations, resist certain types of realities and relationships, resist new ideas that seem to contradict our early beliefs, resist the shadow side that dwells in all of us. But, if there is anything I have learnt in my life, stealing a line from Rohr, “Whatever I resist, just persists.”
Acceptance on the other hand, causes me to relax and let go of control of what becomes. It requires me, and allows me, to let God do whatever God wants with what actually is in my life and the lives of others in my proximity.
Many people, when they hear this type of invitation, without much thought, dismiss the invitation with a, “No, I don’t want to see the world this way, I want to continue seeing it through a black and white lens. I feel resisting the bad things in my life will eventually cause change.” Here, I will contend, that this perspective is the decision to go back onto your hands and knees and continue crawling. It is resistance to change. The only way I can see to walk with God in a truly transformational way, is to accept exactly what is and no longer fight the truth of it. It’s to surrender, to allow God to be God in our lives and to work with what actually is and not what we want to imagine is.
There is tremendous rest and peace in the decision to no longer fight what is. But, it is also counterintuitive because we are inclined to be afraid of realities. God has great compassion on those who continue to crawl as it is scary to see the world as it actually is and to trust that God is good and will work all things together for our good. And so, learning to walk is an invitation into a whole new world where everything belongs, and nothing is wasted.