Monday, February 21, 2011

To Change ... (part 2)

“To change we must

hurt enough to need to,

learn enough to want to,

and feel safe enough to try.”

I began some thoughts on this quote in a blog post on Dec 11/10 on hurting and needing.

... to continue ... “learn enough to want to”

This is a profound shift of the heart. It feels like waking up. We wake up many times in our christian journey. For many people our initial experience of christian commitment often brings a spontaneous and effortless practice that is nurturing, filling and filled with new life. As newly minted disciples, discipline is freedom.

There comes a time when we leave the mountain top and go back to the valley. After enlightenment ... the laundry.

We naturally hit dry times, times when familiar practices and disciplines aren’t working. This is not surprising as we are changed from our practice, and as our understanding of God matures. So here is one way that the ‘hurting’ arises, dry times, and we have the choice of learning about and testing practices and disciplines to sustain us.

We can “learn enough” that our desperation and need shifts to wanting and desiring’. There are some wonderful ‘personality roadmaps’ in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Enneagram that can identify things that may work for you.

Here is a pitfall where you may relate to my experience. That knowing about a practice substitutes for doing it. Centering Prayer is sustaining (and changing) me well, now that I have a few years of daily practice. I had a decade during which I learned it at several introductory workshops, felt inspired and didn’t do it. And I lost my desperation and desire. As I pondered this blog post I asked about the experience of several people in my Centering Prayer group. They had come to their first Introduction, started the next day, came to the weekly group and have rarely missed a day in over 4 years! They seemed to take to it so easily. When I asked how they could make such a significant change in their life one said “It’s simple Bill, I was teachable. It was a teachable moment. I was ready.” The rest agreed. “And this group support to my work on my own was essential.”

There it is, a ‘teachable’ moment is found in the movement from hurting through learning to safety. From needing to wanting to trying.

How does this movement fit your experience?

Are you being formed in the desert to be teachable?

Please share in the comments !

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