This Time of the Year: Leaving the Nest
Just as we are born into the love of our family, so we are born into their understanding as well. It is inevitable that we should be born into a preexisting nest and that we should begin to see with a borrowed light.
As we get older, we sometimes face a crossroads. It often happens about the time of confirmation.
As our eyes begin to see for themselves, the torch given us as children begins to flicker and dim. At some point we realize that the religion our parents gave us now produces more smoke than light.
The growing darkness we feel is not a problem with our parents' teaching, but a result of the fact that we cannot see through borrowed eyes or feel with another's skin. We need to experience faith for ourselves.
These times of passage can feel like the death of everything we have known and trusted.
It is like a chick in spring who breaks through its shell. It is both setting out on its life journey and also destroying everything it has known. At this point it must choose between the urge to fly and the urge to return to its nest of origin.
Spring, Confirmation Classes, even Easter, all things happening at this time of year, symbolize the exquisite pain of leaving our nest. This time of year is about the inevitable death and rebirth that true living requires of us. This time of the year dramatizes the choice between mimicking the song we were taught as children, or realizing that it has always been the song of our own heart as well.
This time of the year asks of us whether we will spend our days trying to restore the shattered shell of our past or find our home in the trackless sky making bold track into the land of now.
Grace and peace,