Life is cyclical in that we are destined to repeat the lessons we do not learn well.  These situations are the ones that caused us to lose our way, stumble and slip into darkness.  We may survive the journey and circle to the top.  But if we do not learn the life lesson we are destined to repeat.  In my life, I find my life lessons not new.  I refused to learn them well, the first time.  As my mother use to tell me when I was growing up, “if you put rocks in your bed, you must lay on them.” 

When the rocks were pebbles, I was very accepting of the minor irritation they would cause.  I would shift position and continue living in my darkness and stupor.  When the rocks became boulders, I had no choice because my ignorance and avarice were too large to ignore. When I lack discipline and live a “let it all hang out lifestyle,” I ultimately lose everything.  I lose my self-esteem, respect and everything.  I find myself down to nothing and not believing I can get a prayer through.  That is true desperation!

My life has been a journey like “Alice in Wonderland.”.  I have fallen through the rabbit hole many times and descended into the abyss of confusion and distortion.  In my distorted vision and thoughts, I felt there was nothing that I could not do and nothing I could not achieve if only I wasn’t scared to death to achieve them.  I was polarized and paralyzed with fear and anxiety and blinded by the darkness.  The adage calls for us to come to the light.  In abject darkness that light can’t be found.  This is because the light is behind us – we are going away from the light.  That is part of the circle of life.  We must make a full circle, to receive another chance to see and walk in the light.

We can be in the light, but we are still fooling ourselves that all that matters is what we want.  We continue to spiral away from the light again.  For example, 99% of people want to love and be loved.  But if we continuously chose to love in our understanding we spiral away from the light into the darkness.  We consistently find ourselves with people who are not compatible or good for us and can even be harmful for us.  But our ego says, “I got this.”  “I can handle it.”  “I will choose better next time; after I get out of this hot mess, I am in.”  Instead of saying “nothing is too hard for God,” we say, “I can do anything but fail.”  The die is cast, and the lie is launched.  We are destined to fall into the darkness again.

In my life as I come upon my 66-birth year, I have spiraled down the rabbit hole many times and refused to look at my life through the looking glass.  I didn’t want to know the truth.  I didn’t want to see my failures.  I just wanted what I wanted as usual.  The story goes, “if you keep doing what you are doing you will keep getting what you’ve been getting.”  For me, the looking glass is the reflection of my true self as God sees me.  It is not only the image of me He created but also the reality of where I am bereft in his plan for me.  Ego tells me, “I am all that and everybody else is wrong and responsible.”  Christ says, “in Him I am a new creature and old things pass away.”

Seeing myself through the looking glass demands that I be honest with myself and face the painful transition of becoming the new creature in Christ.  As the process of change and transformation moves forward within me, there are things that must be let go to make room for greater things.  Some of the baggage and trash is more deeply engrained and entrenched, not willing to let go easily.  Another spin in the darkness of the wilderness brings the deeper things to light.

Eventually, I succumb and surrender to the refiner’s fire and allow the pure light of Christ to burn away the dross that keeps His light from shining bright through me.  As the darkness and egocentric lifestyle, I have hated but lived with such abandonment rises to the top, is skimmed off by the experienced refiner; the temperature continues to rise.  This is a continuous process as I am made more and more in His image.

The benefit of the journey is the light shines brighter and brighter within me, His vessel.  Blessings, grace and favor are recognizable by me.  These elements of a blessed life were not hidden or withheld from me; I was just too blind to see.  From glory to glory I will see my life through the looking glass God holds up before me and feel the heat of the refiner’s fire.  Eventually, through my submission to the will of God, people will begin to see me through the looking glass God has before me.  I will be a lover of man because I love God.  A blessing to others because I am blessed.  I will grow to be a lender and not a borrower.  I will know peace that surpasses all understanding that the world can’t give me nor take away.  I will become a peacemaker and not a peace-breaker.  Because God is refining me into his image, the world receives the blessings.  God is glorified.  Others will grow to seek him as well.  After all, that is the purpose of my life anyway. 

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