Contemporary Christian singer, Michael W. Smith, has a beautiful new album out called, Wonder. In a poignant song entitled, “One More Time”, a particular verse hung in the air for me as I listened.
“Forget what lies behind you, Heaven walks beside you.”
And to take it further on my own if I may, “Heaven walks beside you…and paves the way before you.”
How liberating would it be for us, in the midst of suffering, to begin and end each day believing and feeling Christ’s Heavenly presence walking right beside us? Would that be enough to keep us centered in the present moment, and enable our hearts to leave behind painful memories of our past and see hope on the horizon?
How I wish all of us as married couples facing challenges, despair, resentments, hurt and fear would allow God’s Grace to shower us as Heaven walks beside us. So many relationships begin a slow fade, fall into a tailspin and ultimately stall where the rubber meets the road. A husband and wife become stuck on stuck…a place where the burden of the painful road that brought them to disillusionment is met with an inability to see a redeeming forest through trees of despair. At this point couples tend to cry out the excuse of incompatibility. We are not incompatible in our sacrament unless we refuse to change. Sometimes only one of us is willing to change…and sometimes that is all it takes. My husband and I have experienced this first hand.
The phrase “stuck on stuck” was coined by my dear soul mate when he tried to explain to a friend his perception of the current state of his friends marriage relationship. It was a “speaking the truth in love” moment towards his friend who spent day after day, week after week, and month after month on the beleaguered treadmill of mis-communication and non-communication with his wife. My spouse was trying to make a point with his friend that until he and his wife could communicate at the heart level, commit to mutual understanding, and establish goals for their future that were honest, forthcoming, transparent, and real, they would be hard pressed to experience change.
Stuck on stuck can fit the bill for many a relationship lacking harmony in its realm. It simply means a person is unable or unwilling to put forth an effort to move forward towards a healthier balance, and instead languishes in the now – taking on an “it is what it is” line of thinking that limits the potential of God’s intervention and Grace. To be stuck on stuck can also prevent a person from moving backwards – not a normal choice for growth, but sometimes a necessity so we can fall before we bounce. If we live day in and day out doing nothing different and having no hope for a better tomorrow, then we will remain stuck right where we are. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing every day and expecting a different result. At some point and time it is fair to say that we have all dabbled in insanity and spent a time or two stuck on stuck. But, to begin believing in change, the first step is to pry ourselves from the adhesive that holds us down and let each moment bring new opportunity for something better, something different, something promising.
And what is that adhesive? I believe it takes on many forms – pride, fear, dejection, doubt, unworthiness, apathy, laziness, bitterness, resentment, lack of Faith and any other fill-in-the-blank sticky substance. And there is only one way to loosen ourselves from the glue that keeps us bound and that is being open to the love of Christ and His never-ending Mercy. We have to surrender to Him our mess. Then, walk beside His Holy presence, allowing Him access to the inner chambers of our soul and Trust that He, and only He, can move us in the right direction, even if it means going backwards in order to move forward.
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