40th Anniversary: Remembering, Transforming and Recommitting
An Autumn Reflection on 2 Corinthians 4:8-11
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed….We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body.
The story of Jumping Mouse is found in many religious traditions. The native American version that goes something like this.
Once upon a time there were frightened little mice who stayed in their burrow because they feared the eagles. One little one heard the river, stuck his head out and was greeted by brother raccoon who offered to take little mouse to the great river. Mouse was very afraid but finally traveled with raccoon and was amazed at the large river where he met brother toad who encouraged him to jump to him on the lily pad. Little mouse finally overcame his fear, jumped as became “jumping mouse”. The story goes on as he overcomes his fear of the eagles over and over, and ends up at the great mountain where brother fox encourages him again to jump, to go with the wind, not be afraid. Jumping Mouse becomes Eagle.
You can easily find the whole magnificent story on the computer. It is really the story of the spiritual life of overcoming fear and surrendering to the Holy Spirit, of allowing ourselves to be transformation.
There are some people who stand at the edge of a forest and look at all the beautiful trees. Then, there are those who have to climb the trees.
There are some people who stand by the lake and watch the waves come in. Then, there are some who have to dive in and swim in the water.
There are those who stand by and watch others take the risk of stepping out of themselves. Then, there are those who overcome the fear and take the rise of surrendering themselves. There are those who come to Liturgy and watch, and there are those who get into the singing, the praying, the dance of it all.
We have to hear the river, the flow of the Holy Spirit, and come out of our “burrows,” our safe place and take the risk of surrender, of participation in our own transformation.
Psalm 91: You who sit down in the High God’s presence…Say this: “God, you’re my refuge…I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right – he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards…His huge out stretched arms protect you…under them you’re perfectly safe…Fear nothing – not wild wolves in the night, not flying arrows in the day…..Yes, because God’s your refuge, the High God your very own home.
From The Message by Peterson