I like adventure movies but not scary movies. Being scared is part of life and I wonder what it says about someone’s spiritual life to be truly fearless. Some of us might describe ourselves as being “fearless” but it’s not an all-encompassing fearlessness.
We might be unafraid to parachute out of a plane but it’s terrifying to think about living alone.
We might be fearless in the face of illness but the thought of losing a child paralyzes us.
Spiritual growth requires opening and walking through scary doors. Sometimes we do it because we simply cannot stand being on the safe side any longer. We cannot stay where we are and live a whole life. We cannot avoid the door for a single moment more or our souls will die. And so we open it. And we walk through. And we pray we will survive the terror:
- Like when you have to tell your family that you might be transgender.
- Like when you decide to go to seminary – even though you’ve been taught that women aren’t called into professional ministry.
- Like when you need to leave a relationship.
- Like when you need to leave a job.
- Like when you are in so much pain it’s time to find out what these headaches are all about.
We walk through the scary door. If we are most fortunate, we have people who walk with us. It also helps to find safe people on the other side.
I believe God always provides safe people on the other side. It’s going to be okay. When you are ready, open the door and cross the threshold into the next room.
Image of a scary door along a pathway. Serra Center in Malibu where I’m learning things this week with Mid-Council colleagues.