Person 1: (Eagerly) Why don't you open it? Person 2: (Musing) Oh, I don't know; it's too soon. Maybe I'll just wait a bit. Person 1: (Encouragingly) Oh, go on now! Open it, just a crack even. Aren't you eager to reveal what lies within? Person 2: (Unmoved) Oh, I know what's in the box. I'm just saying, it's not yet time. (Now challenging) What's it to you, anyway? Why are you so eager? Person 1: (Undeterred) Come now! I'll even help you.
In the exchange above, which of the two might you be: the eager Person 1, prodding Person 2 to open the box, or the reserved Person 2 seemingly in no hurry to open the package? I think I should rather be Person 1, eager to open the box, lift out whatever is inside and put it to its intended use.
In your mind, how does the story end? Does Person 1 convince the other to open the box? Does Person 2, notwithstanding the insistence of Person 1, manage to save the reveal for a later time? Do others join in the conversation? Do they assist in convincing Person 2 that the time to reveal what lies within is at that moment?
You know, in last week’s piece entitled, Celebrate the Baptism, I explored the potential significance of baptism. Among them were hope, cleansing, initiation, new direction, and embrace and acceptance. Connecting baptism to this week’s piece, I might say that baptism, as described last week, enables the reveal of what lies within.
Let’s explore this, shall we? Consider the new year with its clean slate before us. Through the baptism represented by the new year, we have washed away the sludge of last year, left it behind us and we’re pressing on toward the prize that lies ahead of us. Having forgotten the former things, we await with eager anticipation the new thing that is about to reveal itself to us during the course of this year. In order to experience this new thing, however, something must be revealed, we must dare to look within. We must venture inward to draw out the power that has been poured into us and put it to its intended use so that the prize that awaits us may be accessed.
The power that lies within is transformative. The power that lies within is creative/productive. The power that lies within is redemptive. Finally, the power that lies within is enabling.
- The Enabling Power: Let’s begin with the last quality of the power within: the enabling power. The power that has been poured into us is the source of strength to do. It is a power that enables our capacity to persevere whatever comes our way. It allows us to stand in the face of the greatest odds. It allows us to remain alert even though we are weary. It allows. This enabling power, however, cannot be activated unless we step inward and draw it out. Like any other source of power, we must tap into it to access it.
- The Creative / Productive Power: Because the power that lies within enables, it facilitates our creative and productive capacity. That creative and productive capacity might move us to act, to serve, or to display our gifts. Again, how will you unearth the creative and productive power that has been poured into you without your delving within to draw without?
- The Transformative Power: As you explore/use the creative power that has been poured into you, you will find that it is necessary to dispense with some traits, at the same time that you adopt new ones. You might even find that it’s necessary to adjust to new and challenging circumstances. As you move through this process of dispensing and adoption, you will gradually undergo a transformation of self and as you experience that transformation of self, you untap the final power, the redemptive power.
- The Redemptive Power: Transformation is somewhat of a renewal, wouldn’t you say? You see, as you renew self, and that new self if revealed, you secure your redemption and validation to move forward into what lies ahead and to claim the prize that awaits you.
Now, is this a finite process? Not in the least! It is cyclical, so you do find yourself repeatedly going through each of the stages. Is there a typical duration? Perish the thought! It’s customised to your need. What’s certain, however, is that the more diligent you are, the more effective each step is for you. Note, though, that if you don’t do it quite that well the first time around, even that is part of the process to teach you to do it better the next time. Is there a typical outcome? My friend, the outcome is determined by your circumstances and your purpose.
But, enough already. Let’s get to it, shall we? As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. So, open up, dig in, tell me what you find lying within! I look forward to you sharing your discovery with me. I guarantee you this one thing: these three await you –