I put a hold on my 108-day journey with Rituals for Transformation. Why?
I was doing so well, reading the messages twice a day and journaling my insights. I’m trying to live a better life. I’ve made so many boneheaded mistakes as an adult. I’m very hard on myself. If there’s one person who will hold me unequivocally accountable to a fault, it’s myself. Rituals for Transformation was helping me. The messages were positive. I was on day 85! So again I ask, why did I quit?
First, I didn’t quit. I put it on hold at the advice of someone much more wiser than I am. The messages I was reading were positive, and they are messages I need to read and digest and remember in order to live a better story. And while Rituals for Transformation does speak about the Divine, the One, the Highest Power, it doesn’t specifically talk about God or Jesus. It’s not a Christian book. Well this wise owl I speak of told me, after reading a few blog posts in which I talk about my 108-day journey, that these things I crave – forgiveness, acceptance, self-love – they are rooted in the Lord and the Bible. The Bible should be my guide, not Rituals for Transformation. I told her I would think about shelving Rituals but that finishing the book was a commitment I made to myself, an agreement I made with myself to follow through. Keeping your agreements, with others and yourself, is an important aspect of living a life of abundance according to Dragontree founders Briana and Dr. Peter Borten (they wrote Rituals in addition to many other books and they developed the Dreambook – the ultimate planner I’ve bought 5 years in a row).
I debated the hiatus. This book is good for me. This book is helping me transform. But the wise owl’s words just wouldn’t leave my head. I ultimately decided, if I’m going to put all my transformative eggs in one basket, it’s going to be Jesus. So I decided to take a break from Rituals. It was a tough decision. But after talking with my wise owl, and really thinking about what she told me, completing Rituals became less important and picking up God’s Word became a priority. So this means I’ve been reading the Bible then, right?
Nope. At least not ritually as I was doing with the Bortens’ book. I have started reading Our Daily Bread and a book given to me by one of the ladies in the prayer group I joined. The book is about the story of God, the story of Jesus and all of the people in the Bible. Did you know Moses had a brother and sister? And he was a baby once! I thought Moses was just this old, wise follower of Jesus and had always been old, but he had a childhood, and this book I’m reading details his childhood. It’s a lot easier for me to read and understand than the Bible. I think the book is an excellent precursor to tackling the Bible. The more I read this new book, the less imperative it became to finish Rituals.
So when will I pick back up Rituals for Transformation? I’m not entirely sure. I do know my life needs reading and writing to fulfill me. The thing about the storybook given to me by the lady in my prayer group is I have to read it every day, even if in little doses, or I have to re-read the previous chapter in its entirety or I completely forget or become confused if I simply try to pick back up where I left off. I can’t just leisurely read this book – it has to be intentional for me to fully understand the stories that the book details.
So where does all this leave me? Well, to be honest, a bit confused. Can I not find love and light in other places than the Bible? Can I not find direction and divine guidance in other books, with other spiritual guides? I’m seeing the stakes are much higher than believing in God and getting into heaven. This is a life commitment that I have to choose to make. This is a life commitment in which I, like my wise owl, proclaim the only way to experience forgiveness, love, acceptance, redemption, etc. is through Jesus Christ. Am I ready to make that proclamation?
I am reminded of something I heard in middle school. I’d rather live my life believing in God and die only to find out there’s no such thing than live like there’s no God and die and find out I was very, very wrong. My wise owl and the ladies in the prayer group are beaming with love and acceptance and understanding. Where will I choose to shine my light? Where does my light come from to begin with?
The thing is: I believe in God wholeheartedly. What is difficult to believe is Jesus. Even more difficult is to believe that Jesus died and rose again from the dead. But when we die, we rise from death and go to our Father in heaven. Is that what Jesus did? Is there a God without Jesus? These are questions I will save for my wise owl.