If I stop long enough to listen to my own sighing over the way the world is today, I recognize a desire that it all somehow be different, that it be something that it is not. At times it feels like an unraveled life. There are threads flying loose, leaving me with the barest, worn bit of frayed cloth to hang on to. But as much as I try to re-weave life back into what it used to be, it simply cannot be done.
So, I’m left with the fragments of my ordinary existence — working, resting, cooking, reading, buying, watching, walking, playing, praying. I lay these unadorned strands of life before God and pray, “Now what?”
I remember several years ago going through a time of transition and waking up one morning with my mind and heart calling out to “The God of my Undoing.” Only this undoing, or unraveling wasn’t a disorienting or destructive sort of undoing. This was me inviting God to undo anything in me that needed to be unknotted, to remove the bindings that held me hostage to the past, and to remove the stray threads I had tried to work into my life that just didn’t fit. It was a relief to encounter the God of my Undoing.
It’s a prayer I’m grateful to remember for days like today, when I’m feeling like life is “less than” — less engaged, less connected, less fulfilling, and less put together.
Opening up to the God of my Undoing draws me out of my small perspective into the eternal, expansive fullness of God. It is a call to trust, asking God to help me let go of what no longer exists and to trust the Divine purpose in it all. It requires a yielding, an emptying of self and a prayer that says I’m willing to concede with a “holy indifference” to what is. And this, paradoxically, leads to freedom.
Holy indifference is not the same as not caring or complacency. It isn’t about giving up on life or losing hope or diminishing the fire of passion. Rather, as St. Ignatius taught, holy indifference simply says I’m not tied to any specific outcome or expectation, or bound up by empty nostalgia for the way things used to be. I’m not controlled by my views or obsessive needs for control or security. Instead, I focus my attention, body, mind, and spirit, on the love of God that never ceases to cover me and always equips me for whatever lies ahead.
I hold loosely the notion of “normal life.” I hold loosely yesterday’s realities. I hold loosely today’s challenges. And I defer to the transforming holy work of yielding and “participating in the Divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) as the Spirit weaves new mercies into my days until I see the beauty of this unraveled life.
These life challenges and questions are the fuel for the sacred conversation found in spiritual direction. It is a conversation where you are invited to ponder, wander and explore the reality of the “God of my Undoing” present in it all.
How has your life been unraveled lately?
Take a moment to identified areas where it feels like you are clinging too tightly or working too hard to try to mend the weaving into the old patterns.
What are the invitations?
Marsha Crockett is a certified spiritual director, meeting with clients virtually and in Port Orchard, Washington. She is also the author of the recently released book Sacred Conversation: Exploring the Seven Gifts of Spiritual Direction (Upper Room Books). In addition to her direction practice and writing, she leads workshops, retreats, and quiet days of reflection using the framework for the prayer of examen. You can reach her at [email protected]. Or, follow her on Instagram: @marshakaycrockett.