Today, Christians all over the world celebrated Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which got me to thinking about the whole death and new life thing.
Webster tells us that resurrection means the act of causing something that had ended or been forgotten or lost to exist again. I say that even though we do everything we can to evade death, for new life to bloom and growth to occur, death must first be endured.
Death can be found in different forms. There is the obvious physical but there’s also spiritual, emotional, and relational. And then there’s the end of a job, end of schooling, and even the end of addictions. Sometimes the end happens against our will, sometimes it happens because we bring it on ourselves by making not so good choices, and sometimes we initiate it because we’re ready for a new chapter in our lives. Anything that changes our life story and give us a new normal is a death.
Our own birth is also a death of sorts. We moved from one type of life, swimming in the nice warm dark womb, the muted sound of our mother’s voice vibrating through our being, to be born into a new life in the cold and bright light. We went from weightless snuggly warmth to loud cold harshness.
On a global scale, each year the world experiences its own type of death. This winter, large parts of the US experienced a brutal winter. Cold upon cold. Snow upon snow. We’re coming up toward the end of April and it’s not over yet. Even points south have not completely entered spring yet. In central Texas, the flowers have arrived but there are still trees that have yet to put all their leaves out.
And then there’s the jack pine tree. This tree does not drop all of its seeds as they ripen; the majority remain in closed cones that stay on the branches. It’s only when a fire occurs that the intense heat opens the cones which allows the seeds to fall to the ground where the fire has prepared the site for new seedlings by burning away much of the existing vegetation. Sometimes that includes the mother tree.
Another example are the plants that sprout from bulbs which must endure sub-freezing temperatures before they can bloom in the spring.
For new life to bloom and growth to occur, death must first be endured.
Each day when we wake up, we experience our own daily resurrection and an opportunity to grow in new ways. We don’t have to wait until Monday or the first of the month or even the first of the year to move forward. We can take this daily opportunity to move forward and grow. If there are setbacks during the day, even then we can take a deep breath, put it behind us and start over. Sometimes we have to start over multiple times a day but that’s ok. Moving forward in growth is what counts.
What about you? Have you experienced a death of sorts? What does your new life look like? I’d love to hear from you!