I have recently started Richard Rohr’s book Falling Upwards: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. It is a really wonderful book so far and I am enjoying it so much I had to put it down and write down what it is teaching me.
To distill what I have read so far, Rohr is guiding readers into what he describes as our “second half of life.” This is the part of our lives that comes after we have “built” our foundations and are now seeking to “fill” our foundations with something meaningful. Rohr says fear is one of the most prevalent factors keeping someone from moving into this second phase of life. Fear keeps us locked into a rut.
But, my friends, there is hope.
This idea of moving into the second phase of life reminds me a lot of the story in Mark’s gospel where Jesus meets James and John, sons of Zebedee. The writer states that Jesus came upon these men and that they were “mending their nets.”
Imagine you are one of these brothers. Imagine you have to spend every day of your life mending nets. Fishing seems to be the only way for these men to earn income and yet, one interaction with Jesus, and they leave their nets, their security, and their family, and set their lives onto a new course. The writer records no hesitation and in fact, goes on to record details of their father watching them leave until he “could no longer seem them in the distance.”
This means the life change was permanent. There was no turning back.
Even if you don’t believe in Jesus, this story provides hope. We all have interactions with people that change us. In the same way, I’m sure most people have felt stuck in a rut with no hope of ever getting out.
Rohr states, “Like skaters, we move forward by actually moving side to side.” Let that give you some hope. Skating is hard and yet in a few days, we are going to be enamored by the gifts of the young people that dance all over the ice to mostly bad music. (No offense to classical but man to they hit all of the Classical B-sides.) Ok skating tangent but the idea is helpful, we move side to side and we actually move forward.
I’m not sure how this book is going to end. But that reminds me that I am still writing my own story. I don’t have to spend all of my days “mending nets.” I can take a leap of faith into something new.
The point is to move. Step into something new and don’t ever look back.
So now its time to move. Take your first step and then ask yourself, Now What?