Sometimes I’m a bull in a china shop. No matter how cautiously I tread, I break a family heirloom or someone gets cut by shards of glass. I regret the mayhem I’ve caused and feelings of insecurity rise up. Will I be invited back?
Other times I’m a robin, quietly hopping in, bringing what I’ve found, effortlessly weaving it into a nest. I watch with joy and contentment as I listen to the chirping and see chicks open wide their beaks to God.
I come to a silent retreat having just had both “bull” and “robin” experiences. In our reflection for the day, we are invited to listen to what the autumn leaves tell us about letting go and to notice the insecurity we feel when we do. We’re asked: Could you befriend your insecurity?
I begin to see insecurity in a new light. It isn’t something I should have gotten over and moved on from. It’s a natural response to change and loss. Feeling insecure doesn’t mean I’ve regressed; it tells me that I’m being transformed.
In the spaciousness of the day, I savour this new insight. I wonder what the leaves are asking me to let go of.
What if let go of my desire to always be a robin and never be a bull? What if that heirloom needed breaking? What if that cut led them to the Healer?
I walk along the river. The sky is blue, the sun warm, the maples brilliant. A gust of wind tousles the trees, unhinging more dead leaves from their branches.
I think about the sermon I’m preparing for Sunday. I imagine what it would it be like to let go of the desire for it to go well.
Perhaps, for some I will come as a robin, others as a wind, and still others as a bull. Perhaps, when I gather the dead brilliant leaves that fall, I’ll hold the gladness, regret, and insecurity, then let them go.
On the other side of insecurity lies deeper trust in the goodness of life and the love of God. –Johnny Sears
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Once a month or so, our contemplative group is invited to spend the day in silence together. Someone opens their home to us; another leads. Not everyone is able to come, but those who do greet one another, chat for a few minutes over coffee or tea, then gather together in the living room. A candle is lit, a prayer said, and a reflection given. Then we give ourselves to God in the silence. We close the day taking turns sharing and holding a gift that we received.
If you would like to participate in love mischief like this, check out my DIY (Do It Yourself) retreats under Resources, choose one you like and ask a few friends to join you. The outline for “The Days of Autumn” prayer retreat we just had is here.