The Oasis - June 16, 2021
Author: Rev. Eric Dupee
June 16, 2021
I feel as though we are living between two significant times. It appears the worst weeks and months of the pandemic are behind us, but we have not yet returned to a normal life. I feel both hopeful and antsy. I’m hopeful, because restrictions are being lifted more and more. I’m antsy, because I so want to put the pandemic behind me. I’m also a bit apprehensive. I don’t think anyone knows what the new normal will look like. I’m thinking we all need to expect some changes from the way life was pre-pandemic.
Years ago, I came across an image that I think describes the transitional time in which we find ourselves. This is a portion of a piece titled The Parable of the Trapeze:
Sometimes, I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar swinging along or, for a few moments, I’m hurdling across space between the trapeze bars.
Mostly, I spend my time hanging on for dear life to the trapeze bar of the moment. It carries me along a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I’m in control. I know most of the right questions, and even some of the right answers. But once in a while, as I’m merrily, or not so merrily, swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see?
I see another trapeze bar looking at me. It’s empty. And I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart of hearts, I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present well-known bar to move to the new one.
Each time it happens, I hope—no, I pray—that I won’t have to grab the new one. But in my knowing place, I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moments in time I must hurtle across space before I can grab the new bar. Each time I do this I am filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that in all my previous hurdles I have always made it.
(Excerpted from Warriors of the Heart by Danaan Perry.)
For me, that little parable is a reminder that the Christian message is not that if one is faithful, God will shelter us from transition and change. We cannot avoid going places we are afraid to go and doing things we don’t want to do. The Christian message is that God doesn’t leave us to face our transitions and changes alone. No matter what the world throws at us, God can bring something life-affirming out of it.
I’m glad I am here with each of you at First Parish to navigate these challenging times. And don’t forget, I will be at Bagel Basket at least from 9-9:45am for the remaining Thursdays in June if you’d like to stop by and say hello or have a coffee.