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  • Writer's pictureSalvation Army Lethbridge

Leave Behind, Step Toward

My niece shared a picture of their tent on a family camping trip in Ontario. The tent is covered in caterpillars, climbing up to the top. I smiled as I thought of these little creatures striving to climb up. In all their striving they will eventually stop and build a cocoon around them. They will rest in the darkness of that cocoon until they are ready to break free. When they do break free, they will be transformed. No longer striving, climbing to get to the top but with new wings full of vibrant, beautiful colors.

I recall March 2020 when all our lives changed drastically. We were like those caterpillars. Climbing, striving, and then forced to a sudden stop. Everything changed. We were living in a new COVID world with restrictions that would cause us to rethink, reshape and retreat. It felt like crisis as we were all called into the darkness of the cocoon. Stay home became the new normal. Many went to school/worked from home, joined online church services/bible studies and visits with family were done over FaceTime or Zoom.

Sue Monk Kidd in her book “When the Heart Waits” writes, “A crisis is a holy summons to cross a threshold. It involves both a leaving behind and a stepping toward, a separation and an opportunity.” She used the illustration from Matthew 8:21-22 when a man came to Jesus wanting to be his disciple said, “Let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus replied with, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” Yikes! It sounds harsh and yet what if the invitation Jesus is making is to “leave behind those things that are deadening, the loyalties that no longer have life for us.”

As we now see the light peeping through our cocoon covering. Vaccination roll outs have almost hit 70% provincially and reopening plans are in place. It seems like we are being called to emerge from the cocoon. Before we totally emerge I wonder if it would be helpful to take some time to ask Jesus, “What is it that you want me to leave behind? What does this “new normal” look like as I follow you? What brings life?” As we leave behind and step toward, we will be transformed. Romans 12:2b, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good pleasing and perfect will.”

I want to encourage you friends to enjoy the transformation! Remember the striving, the sudden stop, and the invitation to enter the vibrant, colorful life you were called to. Enjoy your opportunity to break free! Enter the reopening with a renewed sense of Hope! Enjoy your wings!

Major Donna Bladen

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