Thursday, July 13, 2006

Jeans That Fit: A metaphor for life and ministry Movement Two

MOVEMENT TWO: Letting Go – Going Shopping
I was shopping at Goodwill (more correctly, my son was shopping there because it has now become ‘hot’ to wear thrift store clothes?!?) And as I was browsing, I came upon a designer sweater marked “XL” (extra large) which due to improper care was now smaller that an “XSP” (extra small petite) Not even my high school nemeses could have squeezed in to it. Severe shrinkage had doomed this once lovely J. Crew design to a thrift store garment rack. Jeans, too, have been known to “shrink” as well, to become so tight that unbuttoning the top button brings no relief. Since sitting down in them is impossible and standing up all day in them is an impractical, to say nothing of exhausting, solution, no other choice remains but to put them in the donation pile and go shopping for new “jeans that fit.”

. . . when it comes to letting go, we have to arrive at a moment of
genuine readiness . . . we don’t use force to pry our clinging fingers away; nor
does God. Rather, granting infinite, loving freedom, God offers us the
experience, events, and encounters that help us find the courage to open them
ourselves, with gentleness.
(Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits, San Fransisco: Harper, 1990, p. 108)

Sharing Our Own Stories With One Another

Think of a time in your life when you couldn’t ‘make do’ any longer. You knew it was time to cast off or donate your old ‘jeans’ to Goodwill and go shopping. Briefly describe the event.
What are some words that best express how you were/are feeling?
How did you know what you were looking for, what would fit?
Where did you go, how did you go about finding it?
What did you do with your ‘old jeans?’ How did you part with them?
How did it feel to let them go?
List the life lessons from this experience that could be helpful to you next time-
(Oh yes, there will be a next time).
What other questions come to mind and how would you answer those questions?

Take a few minutes to capture in words or pictures the things you have learned about yourself and your current situation, etc. during this sharing time. What has your inner teacher shown you?