Further Up, Further In

“We are not converted only once in our lives,” wrote Thomas Merton, “but many times; and this endless series of small and large conversions, inner revolutions, leads to our transformation into Christ.” Perhaps one of the strongest temptations during our phase of spiritual awakening is to assume it’s a single, isolated event. Those of us who’ve had dramatic experiences of rebirth must remember that our awakening experience is a continuous, unfolding of more and more light, more and more goodness, more and more transformation. Awakening to God’s kind of love can be so powerful that we’re persuaded to make it the whole of our Christian life. We’re so touched, so different, so amazed that God’s tangibly moved inside us that we’re quick to set up an altar and make it the place we worship. The result is a kind of stuckness, our gratitude degenerates into a kind of thickening cement. We must resist the temptation and keep one foot in front of the other, advancing along the Way of Christ. In the words of those little Narnia children we must, “Come further up, come further in!”