SPEAK: Growing By The Spirit — Before You Protest…

SPEAK! … By the Spirit™ with
Erica A. Hawthorne

Before You Protest …

© 2010 Erica A. Hawthorne

April 14, 2010

I may be one of the last people still reading the book The Shack right now.  But I’m slowly but surely making my way through the book, one moving moment at a time.

As we make our way through this conversation about growth in all of its varied forms, I am reminded of the scene in the book when Mack is helping Sarayu in the garden.  I recall imagining all of the beauty and splendor of the garden…the smells…the colors.  I also recall being quite shocked when in a moment, Sarayu began to chop and cut at all of the beautiful plants, in order to plant “something very special” there in its place.

By this time in my reading, I felt myself becoming anxious.  I set the book down for a moment and wondered, “Would I be able to participate in what appears to be my own undoing and trust in the process? Am I able to release my demands for the preservation of all that I think should be, because its appealing or beautiful…or simply because of how much I have invested in it over time?”

Oh how I would like to say that all of my spiritual know-good kicks right in when Spirit is uprooting me. But I admit, usually mine is the first voice of protest.

“Do not cut down that beautiful person, place, thing or desire that I have grown in my mind!  Leave me at least one of my recently bloomed ideas, projects or relationships!”

Yes, I doth protest much for something that I am not even sure means me well in the present or the long run.  I only know that it was comfortable and known to me in that moment … and usually I am most disappointed by my expectations and the great plans I had for it … completely unaware of the greater seed that Spirit is desiring to plant within me, ever grasping to my own ideals of “good” and “right”.

As the story continues, after all of the flowers and plants had been cut and uprooted, it was then that Sarayu expressed her “exhilaration” over the seemingly devastated plot of land.  “It’s not the work, but the purpose that makes it special,” she says to Mack.  She goes on to explain to Mack how humans’ relationship to ideas  about things being bad or good essentially get in the way of us experiencing their ultimate purpose. “You must give up your right to decide what is good and evil on your own terms …. To do that, you must trust me and learn to rest in my inherent goodness,” she says.

How comforting to know and how exciting the prospect of it all! But how will we finally come to the point of surrender each and every time we come to make a decision?  I remember my Nana used to pray every time she took to a new task. “Lord help me find my way,” if we were walking or on the bus and needed directions.  “Lord guide my eyes so that I may see,” when she couldn’t find a phone number in her book or a verse in her Bible because her glasses had gone missing.  “Lord help me with this child!” when her son would stand defiantly on “her last good nerve.”  A prayer for every move, every decision, every step.  At the time I thought it was strange, sometimes even comical that she would call on God so much for seemingly every decision.

Now it just makes sense.  In little ways, in little moments, my Nana was handing over her will, her ability to decide or choose what would be, and offer the space for Spirit to step in and inspire, influence or change.

I think of how much I use my voice to protest any condition I am not pleased or comfortable with.  I think of how I decide in my own mind whether the event of the moment is good or bad and whether or not I like it or want it.  Sometimes it takes a moment to sit with the feelings, to not judge their assumed goodness or badness and opt instead to allow it to unfold, for a seed of resilience to be planted and the outcome to be the growth of my greater good.

All things work together for good…” I am reminded.  All things.

Even the uprooting, even pulling us up from our comfortable places and burning away the parts that have served a very beautiful purpose, in order to make room for something even more beautiful and equally purposed.

Before I speak in protest to my circumstances, I will call out for Spirit to guide me and offer up my will to whatever the outcome, knowing my ultimate growth is part of the process.


The garden in me,

is grown, sown and then reaped…

all By the Spirit,

all in good time,

all for good reason…

again and again.

I Accept.

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2 Responses

  1. I heard about this book (The Shack) approximately one year ago. I still have not read it. However, I have ordered it and I plan to rerad it before this month is out.
    I am reminded of the constant battle to relinquish our will to the will of God.

    (Amplified Bible)
    39And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.

  2. Beautifully written post! The Shack is one of my all time favorite books and your perfect description of that particular scene transported me back to what I was thinking when I read it the first time. And you captured and shared the lesson so eloquently.

    And the SPEAKFIRMATION™ this week … well, let’s just say it’s on heavy rotation in my soul. Selah … and thank you.

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