Planning For Transition – Wisdom from the Desert Fathers and Mothers

by Christine Sine
Seeing with new eyes

Seeing with new eyes

Yesterday I posted this post, about the fact that Mustard Seed Associates is in a time of transition and talked about the impact that Walter Brueggemann has had on my theology and my thinking. There are others that have helped to shape my thinking in this transition time too that I wanted to mention.

The second book I took with me was Christine Valter Paintner’s book Desert Fathers and Mothers Early Christian Wisdom Sayings. What particularly struck me is where she comments:

We often bring unconscious expectations to life. We feel disappointed when things don’t turn out as we had hoped, even when we aren’t aware we had a desire for a particular outcome. Often we are poor judges of what should happen in our lives. We bring a whole set of ego-centered habits and patterns, and we dream from the person we have been , rather than the person we are being transformed into. Our transformed self is always far beyond our own striving.

When we realize we have limited vision and that our planning minds will only take us so far, then we can begin to gently release the pressure we put on ourselves to have things turn out in a certain way. We may begin to approach life in a more open-hearted way, receiving its gifts rather than grumbling about what we would rather have had happen. (60).

When we seek to bring about change that is not a tweaking of what has existed in the past but rather something entirely new, our own planning and limited vision often does get in the way. Letting go does not begin in the planning room, it begins in the place where we seek to listen to God. I am more convinced than ever that unless we can unleash our creativity and imaginations in the realm of prayer and worship, we will never see real change that leads us into the new reality of God’s kingdom, occur. God’s new reality does not emerge fully grown, but as a baby that needs to be nurtured and fed.

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6 comments

Joanie H October 16, 2012 - 12:08 pm

What a timely, needed word, you’ve shared. (Yesterday and today’s posts.) I am rejoicing that God is hearing the cry of my heart and, through your journey, has brought much needed insight and wisdom for mine. I look forward to hearing more. You are such a treasured blessing and I give thanks to God that He crossed our paths.

Thank you for encouragement and new insights and nourishment. I wish I had the gift of words, as you do, to share so beautifully. I will be praying for you and MSA.

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Christine Sine October 16, 2012 - 12:32 pm

Thanks Joanie for your encouragement – one step at a time for all of us and what a privilege to be able to walk the journey hand in hand with others like yourself.

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margaretfeinberg October 16, 2012 - 12:27 pm

“we dream from the person we have been , rather than the person we are being transformed into” I wonder if we dream from there because that’s what’s easier. We know who and where we’ve been. We don’t know who and where we will be–that takes much more work

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Christine Sine October 16, 2012 - 12:31 pm

You are right. It also takes more time because we need to listen and watch for what God is doing and saying. It also requires that we live in the hope and the expectation of God’s new world coming which in itself is very challenging because it is other centred not self centred.

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margaretfeinberg October 16, 2012 - 12:42 pm

listening and watching is much harder to do than say 🙂 but you’re right–when we do live out of that hope and expectation, it’ll be worth it in the end!

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Christine Sine October 16, 2012 - 12:56 pm

Amen to that

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