Will I repeat my lines, performing the same way I did the last time I was here? Will I only see the stage set from the same narrow eyes that encountered it before or will I see a different story, say new lines never said before from a posture completely other than the last time?
Surrendering judgment seems integral to the play. Not so much surrendering discernment – for that is a fool’s way. It’s more about letting go of the conclusions I carry through the door.
While working in the Texas Hill Country outside of that oasis known as Austin for the next month, I am having quite a few of these forays into moments past. I am just up the highway from a camp I attended one summer in grade school. The two to three weeks there were quite miserable, not so much because I was homesick, but because the camp was something like three weeks of Rush for some nebulous future fraternity I had no intentions of joining. Socialites 101 for Pre-teens. Add to it that it was during the cusp of my parent’s divorce, and you have a boy full of insecurities and awkward searching for a place in the world.
Being back in the area, seeing familiar landscape and smelling the mesquite, hearing the crickets sparks memories from those darker days. It was as if I re-entered this space on the stage, ready to assume that this too would be a bad experience.
But then I stopped.
Before letting those memories take over, and mark the landscape, I felt the tap on the shoulder from Life that asks, “What if this time it is different? What if your conclusions then were wrong, and what if there is a different way of seeing this place? What if you could shine in your skin this time because you were meant to shine then, too, only you had no One to take your hand, showing you how?”
Could it be that Life wants freedom for us more than we want to be free? It is far easier to hold to conclusions made about a story I had all wrong the first time around than to release my grip and hear again the true Story being told. A good story, a good book is one that can be read over and over while new discoveries are found with each reading. And sometimes I have to correct my understanding of a moment at the beginning of the story to really see the depth and greatness of the later chapters.
Entering familiar space only to find I am not who I thought I was, to find I am someone new is like waking each day to a new world… and isn’t that Ultimate Reality after all?
“It is Love who makes the mortar, and it's Love who stacked these stones, and it's Love who made the stage here although it looks like we're alone. In this scene set in shadows like the night is here to stay there is evil cast around us, but it's Love that wrote the play... ” - David Wilcox