Monday, February 9, 2009

A Gate to the Unknown

Life is constantly changing. There is so much to take in. As elements of my life fly past me in a seemingly endless swirl, there occasionally comes a moment of epiphany. In such moments as this, it seems to me that I must leave something behind in order to continue on this life journey.

I come to a gate that marks the end of one part of my way and the beginning of another. I cannot have both parts. A piece of the child in me grows up a little bit more and I feel the change. Like leaving behind something warm and familiar, this change does not come without some pain.

Yet to avoid the change, to stay in childhood, only hurts more. As I linger to catch the last glimpses of how things were, I am overwhelmed by a sense of no longer belonging. These tender memories of my childhood, these ways of thinking, dreaming, and behaving do not have a place for me. Nor I for them. We must mutually depart from one another. Like a person who has been away from their old haunts for many years, I have become a stranger to my old self.

While I can still vividly recall these lost things, they are like wisps of their former existence. It's a little bit scary for me when I think about it. I am changing. I am growing. More will be expected of me. I will expect more of myself. I need to take more responsibility. I see it and I am frightened by it.

Even so, it is exciting! A new chapter in the book of my life is a special thing. In some small way, it makes me feel important and adventurous. I feel a little bit like anything could happen. Anything is possible and some wonderful awaits me somewhere down that path on the other side of the gate. The beautiful unknown in the untamed beauty of the wild reflects the mysterious twists and turns just beyond my reach on the road ahead of me. How thrilling!

I am, of course, not alone in this journey. My beloved Lord is ever before me. He takes my frail hands and gives them strength. He steadies my clumsy feet and fills me with new energy and zest for this beautiful life, which - hopefully - brings me ever closer to Him. He is the light of my existence and I owe everything to Him. I trust Him because I love Him and because it would just be silly not to. He has carefully laid out special plans for me that will fulfill my deepest longings.

So, whatever happens, I do not really fear the gates to the wondrous unknown future. I often look for them in eager anticipation. Recently, I have come to a new one. I was very unhappy when I first encountered it. I did not want to leave any part of my old self behind. I still have struggles with change. But now, I am beginning to see the beauty and the necessity of that change.

Though the road may be long, hard, and sometimes terrifying, we go on, my sweet Lord and I.

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