About a week ago we planted various seeds for our first garden here in California: swiss chard, okra, bush roma beans, butter lettuce, arugula, sweet corn and leeks, to be adorned with marigolds and zinnias. Seeds are now pushing their way through the soil toward the beckoning light.
I can’t help but ponder the timing of these rising seeds. This is known as holy week in the Christian tradition with its theme of Christ’s death and resurrection. Whether or not this is your tradition, the message is universal. Something is always dying, and this death is necessary so that something new can be born. For a seed to sprout, it must be buried and left for dead in the earth. This surrender is necessary for new life to break through.
In the Biblical stories about people encountering Jesus after his resurrection, there is a common theme. They don’t recognize him. He appears to be a gardener…a traveling stranger…a beach bum. Then suddenly, their eyes are opened and they see Christ. The Christ of their expectations, the Christ they could control and predict, the Christ they could confine to one human body, had to die. Then they saw the Christ, the divine…everywhere. Their eyes were opened to a world of wonder. The seed planted within them had sprouted.
What in your life needs to die? What needs to be surrendered so that something new can emerge? Is it that tired story you retell that needs to be laid to rest so that you can birth a new narrative? Is it an outdated image of the divine so that something truer can emerge? Is it an addiction to control and perfection so that something surprising and uncontrollably alive can spring up? Is it a prejudging of a person or group that must be sacrificed so you can start to see the divine, see something sacred and precious, in more and more faces? (Of course, no aspect of us totally disappears but rather is accepted, transformed and integrated.)
Whatever needs releasing, the first and only required step is a willingness to surrender it. How does that willingness to let go actually result in letting go and then give birth to something new? That no one knows. It is a mystery called life.
P.S. If you want to let go of what no longer serves so that something new and alive can be born, join us on Tuesday nights, starting April 16, for a weekly gathering called Tuesday Night Live.