Friday, March 27, 2009

Semper Reformanda (Always Changing)

At the end of The Final Battle, the last of The Chronicles of Narnia, Eustace, Jill, Poggin and Tirian are urged to go further up and further in. This is seen as the great adventure awaiting those who are loyal to Aslan, the Christ figure in the story. But this journey doesn't start after this life is over. We are called to go further up and further in starting now. It's otherwise called growing up or maturing. This process isn't painless. It involves change and change never comes easy. Some of us hate it. Sue Cameron writes:
Remember what it was like being born? You don't recall the bright lights, the screaming? The whole process would be much nicer without the stage known as transition. It's the most intense, demanding and productive part. Hard? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely. New life will not emerge without transition.
What's true during our initial entry into daylight continues as we mature: Times of transition are some of the most difficult and challenging periods of living. If we're unwilling to endure them, we'll never progress down the narrow channel that leads to maturity.

Semper Reformanda is a commitment passed down from the Reformers that we do well to remember. 'Always reforming' can be translated 'always changing.' We can't make our way through life without change. We move, we change jobs, we lose jobs. We lose our health. We lose mothers and fathers, we lose spouses. We sometimes lose children. But what if these hard changes are part of the further up and further in process? What if God uses these troubling transitions to open the doorway to greater joy? Jesus said it best: "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds" (John 12:24).

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