Short essay on growth, using forest stumps as an example of new from the old.
|Recently on a walk at Earth Sanctuary, I was noticing the many different nurse logs and old stumps from which new growth was coming. This one in particular drew my attention because of the way the new growth has split the old stump. I started thinking about other situations in which the new grows from the old – and asked myself must the church (local or universal) split in some way for something new to emerge? I don’t mean split like it has many times over the centuries into new denominations. Or for a new church to start with a portion of an old one. The new plants emerge from the decay of the old stump, pushing their way through the old one, pushing parts of it away. In the church (and many other human institutions), we are so inclined to fight change, to keep doing things the way we always have. We resist having old ways pushed aside to make room for new possibilities, new seeds of growth. Yet, if growth is to happen, old ways need to give way – to split away. It’s actually a healthy way of growth.
I wonder what the new growth is in myself, as I look at the idea of retirement and of moving to a new community? And what is it that needs to give way in order for that new growth to happen? What is the new growth in you – what needs to split away for that new growth to happen? I think this is how resurrection happens. Resurrection happens when we allow the Holy Spirit to blow through us and change us, push us to allow death of the old and birth of the new.
Ritual often helps us to allow that splitting away to happen - ritual that honors and celebrates what has been, while acknowledging the need for the new in order for life to continue. How will you celebrate that which you need to release in order to grow in your life?