What Shape are You In?

blog god's invitation overwhelmed sculpt Jun 22, 2022

Blog by Gem Fadling

It's an understatement to say that a lot is going on in the world. Anecdotally and statistically, we find that people are stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, and anxious.

 

This makes sense because we are, in fact, overwhelmed. We see, hear, and experience too much. Psychologically, emotionally and physically we are unable to bear up under the pressure of everything that’s occurring around us.

 

It's good to pause for just a moment and acknowledge this reality. Some of us feel this deeply—our bodies are weak and our emotions are frayed. Some of us are coping by moving into places of denial or apathy. Still others are doing fairly well and traversing the times as best they can.

 

Indeed, after everything that has happened in the past couple of years, I (Gem) don't need to describe for you all the unhelpful consequences we are experiencing. But what if we pause for a moment to ponder the grace that may be within our own hearts..

 

Have you ever played with Play Doh, that soft, clay-like substance that little elementary-aged hands love to squeeze? You can turn it into anything you want, from rainbows to bouncy balls to giraffes.

 

There are even fancy plastic contraptions that come with Play Doh, such as an extruder that can be used to press creates long strings of spaghetti and other shapes. Just shove in a lump of Play Doh, squeeze down the handle, and stars, cylinders and other shapes came spilling out.

 

In some ways, the pandemic and all the other worldwide dynamics have felt like a Play Doh extruder. I have felt shoved in and pressed down and squeezed out. How about you?

 

I am a different shape now than I was before. Some things that needed to fall away have, in fact, fallen away. My new shape is not necessarily bad; it's simply different.

 

As we are pressed and squeezed, we can ponder some transformative questions: What new shape is emerging? What has been pruned away? What is left behind? What is being brought forth?

 

We may have the opportunity to become more aware of who we actually are. Some of the excess has been trimmed. Maybe we've been pruned down to essential thoughts, feelings, and actions.

 

Some of us are sensing a bit of freedom these days. Before we begin filling in the spaces, it might be good to pause and ask a few more questions: What do I really want? What is the essence of the life I want to live? How can I discern what to leave behind and what to add back in?

 

I hope you will give yourself some time to ponder these kinds of questions. Now is not a time to live unintentionally. Yes, it can feel as though we are being battered in a great storm; however, Jesus is the one who calms the storm (see Mark 4:35-41). How might being in the presence of Jesus grant you the discernment you seek?

 

I know I posed a lot of questions here. My invitation is that you pull out the questions and allow yourself the space to turn them into prayers. Bring your pressed, pruned, storm-battered heart to the one who calms the sea with his voice.

 

Reflection

Here are all the questions again so you can spend some time journaling or in prayer:

  • What new shape is emerging?
  • What has been pruned away?
  • What is left behind?
  • What is being brought forth?
  • What do I really want?
  • What is the essence of the life I want to live?
  • How can I discern what to leave behind and what to add back in?

 

Blessings to you as you make your way.

 

Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash