So, . . . how’s it goin? You getting naked yet? Beginning to take off that cloak which separates you from God and others? Have you identified what it is? You could have several cloaks actually. Don’t get too ambitious. Just try taking off one. If you’re like me, I know the cloak that I need to remove. It’s glaringly obvious to me. But I begin to reach for the snap that will remove it; and suddenly I get frightened. What is life going to like without this cloak? I’ve worn it for such a long time! What will I say, how will I act without this cloak? What’s it going to be like to be naked? O my God, I can’t even believe that I’m thinking about removing this from my life and getting naked!
I remember when I was trying to quit smoking some years ago, I could NOT imagine what my life would be without cigarettes. How could I possibly enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning WITHOUT a cigarette? How could I possibly talk on the phone without a cigarette? How could I work, have a relaxing evening, clean, work on a project at home (the list goes on), WITHOUT having a cigarette??? It truly seemed unimaginable to me at the time. Now, I look back and say to myself, “what was I thinking??” The truth is, it’s glorious to have coffee in the morning WITHOUT a cigarette. It’s great working, relaxing, walking, talking with friends, WITHOUT a cigarette. It’s so freeing and I feel so much better.
Why then is it so difficult for me to envision my life without the cloak that I wear now? If we have been freed before, why is it difficult to imagine our life without lethargy and exercising? Why is it so difficult to imagine our life eating the right foods that will give us energy? Why is it so hard to imagine our life without so much internet, TV, without a negative attitude, more attentive to the needs of others?
Perhaps that’s the key. Imagination. Thinking. Envisioning. Can I begin to think in a new and exciting way about what life would be like without this cloak; instead of concentrating so negatively on what it would be like? Because the truth is this: Our lives will be IMMEASURABLY better WITHOUT this negative pattern of behavior! Perhaps that’s where we need to keep the focus of our thoughts.
God help me to imagine myself without this cloak that weighs me down! Help me to envision myself naked, happy and free!