Friday, January 18, 2013

The Shelter of My Heart - Thoughts on Change

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio


And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed [changed] by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2 KJV).

Change is something we all have to deal with. Some changes are wanted and looked forward to others seem beyond our ability to control. Some of us get to the future by leaving our claw marks as we try to hold on to the familiar past. Why does change cause us such stress when it is an inevitability of life.
When we are young we can't get to the future fast enough and when we are older we feel the ticking hands of time that say all to soon our race will be run.

C.S Lewis writes “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way”

I like to think I'm pretty good at change. My family moved a lot when I was a kid. I went to three different high schools. I've learned to look at change as an adventure to be embraced rather than feared. I've learned to be good at making friends. I've learned to be good at finding a way to fit in to a new situation. I have learned how to find my stability not in people or places but in the only thing I have found to truly be constant. Where is the shelter of your heart. Where is home, the resting place of your Spirit?

I found a poem that I'd like to share with you.
“I have walked through many lives, some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look 
before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon 
and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, 
over which the scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind, the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn.
I turn, exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road precious to me.
In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through the wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice directed me:
-Live in the layers, not on the litter-
Though I lack the art to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written.
I am not done with my changes.” 
― Stanley KunitzThe Collected Poems

"To live in the layers not on the litter....I am not done with my changes" On good days I look back and I see the life I have been a part of and the amazing transformations that God has worked in my own life and the lives of people who have graced my days. On my bad days I look back and see the rubble of things and people I have lost. Stuff I tried to do and life that did not go at all like I thought it would.
People I wanted to be around forever and others that I found annoying. Yet it all has profoundly affected me in some way.


C.S Lewis says "If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness,
you find it quite intolerable:
think of it as a place for correction and it's not so bad.
Imagine a set of people all living in the same building.
Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison.
Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable,
and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable. "

Change is inevitable. 

Again he writes “Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, 
and where there is no continuity there is no growth.” 

So I wonder how do you continue on in the midst of change? 
I want to leave you with a song I found by Audrey Assad called Show Me. 
We get overwhelmed at times by all the change. She writes "Mercy bend and breath life back into me but not before you teach me how to die."

Change requires that we let go of things, change requires that some things must die and fade and become memories. Change requires movement from the familiar into the unknown of what lies before us. As I said earlier I've become pretty good at change but only because the shelter of my heart, the resting place of my spirit is found in God alone. 


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