“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here.” 2 Cor. 5:17
April – the season of spring showers, new life and the promise of warm, even hot days ahead! April brings with it the lifting of the spirit; the potential of limitless possibilities through the new life-energy bursting forth everywhere!
The sunny weather took me out into the garden recently – potting up the dahlias, tidying up the borders and beginning the task of weeding.
Some people find no joy in weeding. Yet for me, it is something I get a lot out of, as I love to see the borders being cleared of the plants I don’t want, to reveal the flowers and plants I do want in the garden. I love to see the fresh soil, recently turned over, fed with manure; the robins finding worms all the while as I work diligently and breathe in the fresh, spring air.
It came to my mind that day in the garden that clearing out the weeds, the unwanted plants, is very similar to clearing out the weeds, the unwanted thoughts, in my mind: Repetition, repetition, repetition!
I have become more conscious of these unwanted thoughts lately. How quickly they can take over when they are fed with repeated attention and feeling. From one single unhappy thought can arise a torrent of thoughts, which threaten to take over our minds if we let them.
Just like in the garden, my role is to use my good judgement and wisdom in recognising the thoughts I want to keep and enjoy, and clearing out those I don’t want to keep. I do this with a strong word of denial – you are not for me! – and turn my attention instead to the joyful, uplifting, loving and positive- action thoughts that bless my life journey and all those around me. Just like in the garden, where weeds keep coming up until they have been fully removed, our weed thoughts keep arising in our minds until we have finally cleared them out. So we repeat this action, without stress or critical judgement, until they no longer appear.
How do we know what thoughts we want to keep? We recognise: Does this thought add to my life experience? Does it give me energy or drain me of energy? Does this thought enable me and those around me? Is it helping me connect with the limitless potential of life that is always here for me? Another really good question to ask is, how do I feed these thoughts so they are sustained and will grow?
Trust your insight – allow the light of God to shine in your mind and heart, just as the sun always shines on us all, to bring illumination. Surrender the thoughts that are not wanted; speak your words of denial and give them up, just as Jesus gave up his human life on the cross. For in the giving up we are born anew. Indeed, it is not until we surrender all that we are not, that we can know who we really are. Because Jesus surrendered what he was not, (his body), his resurrected spirit came back, which re-inspired his disciples, and enabled Christianity to continue to this day.
Just as the disciples felt the uplift of new energy, we, too, will feel the joy of new life, new energy; the resurrection of the spirit. Each time we weed out the old, surrender what is no longer needed, using wisdom and insight, we make space to know our Christ-self as our real self more fully.
This Easter, may you know the resurrection of Life as your own!