Life with God is about learning to open our hands. The only problem is that hands—particularly the hands of the soul—tend to open slowly, often one finger at a time. It is a long process, requiring much time and space and focused attention. A process that requires as much patience as it does diligence.
While life (particularly spiritual life) typically moves from orientation to disorientation to reorientation, our knee-jerk reaction to disruption and disorientation is to revert back to—or strive to achieve—some old form of orientation, rather than allowing it to usher us into something that is new and beautiful. And when we do this, it is almost always destined for failure, frustration, or, even worse, stagnation. We cannot cling to our old ways and think that growth can still be a possibility.
“Clinging creates a shrinking within the soul,” writes Sue Monk Kidd, “a shrinking of possibility and growth. The need to cling to ‘how it was’ can be overpowering.” God wants so much more for us than that. In fact, he is always calling us beyond where we are, not back to where we were. Clinging to the old always seems to result in an inability to welcome the new and beautiful.