Friday, June 08, 2007

Paradigm Shifts

Can you recall specific paradigm shifts and/or turning points in your life? I know for me, there have been several. At first, I usually don’t recognize what’s happening. All I know is sometimes my clearly defined ideas of how life should look occasionally are shattered. The shattering can be painful at times, until I realize it's God doing the shattering, and he doesn't let a piece fall by the wayside. Once I quit resisting his working, the picture usually starts to become clear, although God must know I couldn't handle the brightness all at once and it comes in more like the old TVs where you had to wiggle the antennaes to bring the picture into focus.

I read somewhere recently that the Christian life doesn't happen in a straight line. Rather, that the spiritual journey involves revisiting “territory through which we have already passed, and doing so over and over again.” It makes more sense to me to view the journey as a series of stops and starts. Another correction occurred to me; that it’s not a journey to God, but rather a journey with God. Just like in practical experience or our jobs, new lessons build upon the former ones, so it is in our walk with God. The things he teaches us or brings us through are not like lily pads, which we abandon when we jump on ahead to the next lesson. Rather they are building blocks that remain with us and which we revisit as more opportunities for growth are brought our way.

I have no idea what paradigm shifts have to do with straight lines, except to say sometimes I can’t see it all as clearly as I’d like. It’s then I just need to trust the God who sees the entire picture, the really big picture.