Growing Your Spiritual Garden
Like most people, I do not respond well to change. Although I like to think that I am flexible and try to roll with the punches, my inner self screams at the thought of change. Instead of expressing my frustration, I try to hide my emotions behind a facade of smiles and nods. On the outside, I appear positive and accommodating, but on the inside I am falling apart. In the end, my relationships suffer and I also suffer.
Change is a storm that can tear apart our spiritual gardens. Conversely, it is not the change that uproots our lives. Actually, our reaction to the change is the deciding factor. If we react negatively to change, our physical self often pays the price. Repressed emotions often result in illness causing headaches, digestive troubles, aches and pains in addition to other emotional troubles linked to anxiety like mood swings, insomnia, and depression. Therefore, in order to save our spiritual gardens from certain disaster, it is important to recognize the ill effects that change may be causing in our lives.
There are many fantastic resources designed to help the average person cope with change, and I have tried them all. However, the one outlet that has always helped me to cope with stress and change is my faith. Recently, NPR featured a series entitled "Loosing Our Religion." Many of these stories featured agnostics and atheists lamenting about the lack of counseling for people without a belief in a higher power. As I listened to their stories, I tried to put myself in their place. I understood the source of their frustrations, but I also felt extremely sad. I thought about what it would be like to face the death of a loved one, a divorce, or any life-changing event without faith. What would my life truly be like without God?
My life without God would be very bleak. I would not have any hope and no promises for tomorrow. There has always been the school of though that states that people who believe in God are essentially holding on to a false hope and failing to accept reality. Reality is only defined by the things that we can see and touch.
For me personally, I refuse to accept this argument. I have to hold on to the definition of faith given to us by the author of Hebrews. In Hebrews 11:1, we are told that faith is "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." I may not know how things will work out in the end, but I have to cling to the hope that the storm will soon be over. If I am hit with the turbulent forces of change, I have to believe that there is a force much grater than I am , walking by my side, holding my hand, and helping me find the the light at the end of the tunnel. At first, I may struggle and fight . I may try to handle things on my own, but I eventually reach out to the God that has sustained me thus far.
I weather change with faith in a higher power. This is what life is like with God and my spiritual garden flourishes in the midst of the most powerful storm.