Years ago when we chose the name ‘Shifting Sands’ for our newsletter, someone asked me why we called it ‘Shifting Sands’. It evoked in her a sense of instability and fear. She felt something more comforting would be a better fit for us.
While I could understand her feelings, I know too that the experience of change brings with it a sense of instability and impermeability. It feels like the sands under our feet are literally shifting. Shifting Sands symbolizes a felt experience of life as it comes to us, and that is not usually a comfortable experience.
There is a passage from the Prophet Isaiah which speaks of shifing sands and the One who keeps us grounded in the shifting:
Say to those whose hearts are frightened: be strong, fear not! Here is your God who comes with vindication; with divine recompense; who comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools and the thirsty ground, springs of water. 35:4-7
As I sit with people in spiritual direction, I listen to the unsettling that they experience as the winds of change shift their structures. Part of the gift of spiritual direction is holding a space while people re-evaluate their lives, their values, their histories, their theories, their practices in relationship to the stirrings of change they have felt.
The shifting sands are truly holy ground and like Moses, we need to take off our shoes and rebalance our lives in relationship with all that is changing. ‘Be strong, fear not, your God is here’. There is an opening of eyes and we begin to see differently. There is a clearing of the ears so that we hear a different vibration. There is a new way of walking on this earth. There is new energy, a new flow to our lives and a different sense of being reconciled. With shifting sands, we lose our sense of direction and purpose. With being open to letting go of control and trusting the process of Love transforming us, we discover new direction and meaning.
Eremos too is always in transition. We continue to keep our eyes on the signs of our times to behold the presence of God in our midst. We invite you to join us in our shifting sands by participating in one of our groups or workshops. Together we can remind one another of the true essence of change – God is at work in our midst.