Spiritual Growth, A Metaphor

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Proverbs 27.19 “You see your face in a mirror and your thoughts in the minds of others.”

James 1.23 “If you hear the message and don’t obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror

1 Corinthians 13.12 “Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don’t know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us.”

Spiritual growth is like standing in front of a mirror with a giant spotlight directly in back of me, like one of those used at grand openings that illuminate the sky. It is shining directly at the mirror and is so bright I can not look at the light or its reflection in the mirror. In order for me to stand in front of the mirror I must get as close to it as possible with my nose touching the glass. But still light is leaking around me especially my head and I must put on sunglasses to tolerate the light. I find one pair of sunglasses will not do so I add layer upon layer of dark plastic until I can tolerate the light. My eyes will naturally adjust and once I get comfortable I am able to live there in what I think of as light but really it is still dim darkness. After a while I get used to the intensity of the light and feel comfortable enough to peel off a layer of dark plastic this causes somewhat of a discomfort but it is tolerable. This is done over and over until all the plastic is removed and I can actually remove the sunglasses. However my nose is still up against the mirror. Now as my eyes adjust to the brilliance leaking around my head I begin to see my face clearly but not my entire body. As the desire grows to see all of me I take my first step backwards toward the light. I know to turn around would blind me but my goal is to see in the light so I keep moving. As I back closer and closer to the source of light I see more and more of my reflection in the mirror but a strange thing begins to happen, the farther I get from the mirror I begin to disappear into the light. The light is surrounding me, swallowing me, enveloping me until eventually all I can see is the light and I have disappeared. And yet I know I am still me. I have disappeared and yet still here. “You are the light of the world.” Jesus, Matthew 5.14

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