The fanfare has come to an end. So have the flashing lights, haze, mass choirs, sweater sets, and church liturgies all across the world.
Easter is over.
He has risen (Indeed).
But have you?
For us “rising again” is…well, impossible because we think of “death to life” in the most literal way.
But sometimes a metaphor is more powerful than a fact.
Facts are what we use to prove our point, while metaphors are what we use to tell stories. And stories make us laugh and weep. They cause us to rejoice or inspire us to do great things. They are the stuff of life.
The stuff of change.
Jesus told stories. He didn’t spend much time talking about what to believe. Instead, he said that we are blessed when we believe, when we have faith, in him.
There’s a very practical part to this whole faith thing. You might think: Jesus rose from the dead, so why must we? But this isn’t about coming back to life, or merely surviving. It’s about LIVING. CHANGING. OVERCOMING.
And all of these things happen on Monday, not Sunday.
Jesus rose on Sunday.
We rise on Monday.
A chance to start over. To begin again. To (like Jesus) make all things new.
No fairy dust.
No voice from the heavens.
No string ensemble and John Williams score to get you over the crest of that hill.
Do the work.
Make the choice.
Put it on your calendar.
Do that thing.
And just so you know…
It’s not financial, it’s spiritual.
It’s not external, it’s INTERNAL.
It’s not for THEM, it’s for you.
It’s about becoming. Metamorphosing. Transfiguring, just like Jesus.
About US rising again…
after three days,
We either will or we won’t.
We either rise or stay buried.
When I couldn’t stop drinking, I racked my brain trying to overcome my addiction with mind control – I just needed to think a little harder. What I didn’t fully grasp was that my addiction was a disease, so I wasn’t going to outthink it anymore than my friend could outthink her diabetes. Metaphorically speaking, I needed insulin. Translation: I needed AA meetings.
So I went.
I was so tired of the fight with alcohol that I went to meetings, got a counselor, and practiced the twelve steps.
It was entirely practical: Find out where the meetings are, go to them during my lunch break or in the evening, make new friends who are also alcoholics. And then…
It was that simple.
Keep it simple is an AA term. It tells us to stop trying to outthink our addiction.
You might be thinking, but I’m not an addict – yet I still struggle to make life work. What about me?
Richard Rohr contends that we are all addicted, even if it’s simply to our own way of thinking. If that’s you…struggling to make like work, but not traditionally “addicted” to a specific vice such as alcohol, drugs, food, relationships, control, shopping, etc., I’d go ahead and listen up anyway. There may be something in this for you.
So let’s start here:
If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.
Or how about this?
If you want what you never had, you have to do what you’ve never done.
If you keep doing the same thing over and over, you’ll keep getting the same thing over and over.
You won’t rise again.
You must do the practical NEW work that you haven’t yet done.
So…(Are you ready?)
Go to counseling.
Go to an Al-Anon meeting. (Look it up. It’s part of doing the work.)
Let go of the self-help, quick-fix phenomenon that isn’t working.
And by the way, no book is going to spoon-feed life to you. Jesus wasn’t in the grave those three days reading Joel Osteen’s latest book that told him how to rise again. So you might want to put the “self-help” on the shelf and try something different.
If you’re buried…
Dig deep. Uncover what is keeping you stuck. Dig until your arms are weak and you’re out of breath – until you see that thing that needs unearthed. And then get on your hands and knees, clear away the dirt, and pull it out by the roots. Pull out that part of yourself that you’ve left behind. That “something broken” that needs a little resurrection.
Or a lot.
It won’t be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is.
But this is your life we’re talking about, so it’s worth it. YOU’RE worth it!
Find out what went wrong. Go on the journey. There are so many ways to get there. And I believe if you are willing to lay yourself bare before God and ask for help, he will give you everything that you need.
“But I’ve already tried.”
Haven’t we all.
I can only say that maybe you weren’t ready. But maybe you are now. And not just ready, but WILLING to do the work. To keep it simple. To go to AA or Al-Anon meetings. To go to therapy and STICK WITH IT. And not just go, but WORK HARD at it this time. Your therapist can’t want it more than you do. You have to want it for yourself. You have to believe that…
You’re worth it.
So rise again, my friend.
Afterall, it’s Easter Monday, and we haven’t seen a resurrection since yesterday.
Now it’s your turn.
So keep it simple.
Make it happen.
Do the work.
Looking for a book that will help you rise again, start over, make all things new? I wrote THIS ONE. Check it out.