The "Befores" and the "Afters"
“And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ``Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” - Revelation 21.5
In storytelling theory, there is an idea that our life is divided up into seven or eight segments. Between each, is an event or turning point that pivots our entire life view. After the turning point, a person experiences changes in their views of relationships, their philosophy on life, and how they view themselves.
These segments of change typically represent phases of our life. They can be separated by simple things like the change of a decade, the move to a new state or a new career unfolding. Pivot points can also be crises, where everything that we once knew falls away. As a result, we are forced to look at the world in a new way, and we find ourselves in a situation where a new way of looking at the world is looking back at us.
These events are before and after moments and are defined as a moment in your life that before which, everything is different and after which everything is different. They can launch our entire lives into a new direction - we can become the victim or victor of our circumstances. They can also bring us into an entirely new journey of discovery about the nature of the self, about who we are, and about what matters in life.
Because many of these moments are often marked by trauma, "before" and "after" moments usually have the opportunity to initiate positive growth and have the potential to stimulate healing.
Sometimes these moments show up to stretch and grow us outside our bubble, teach us about our own resiliency, or give us empathy into a situation that we never had before. These "before" and "after" moments can be powerful stimulates for self-love and they can return us to a place of balance within ourselves. It's also normal to feel that life before was a sort of dream being lived, and that in life after, you are stepping into a new dream.
"Before" and "after" moments can bring about positive life changes, not only for us but for people around us. So sometimes, they are essential catalysts that spark a different direction in our lives. For some people, "before" and "after" moments become very inspirational stories that motivate others. As painful as these moments can be, they can also bring about a more mindful, peaceful state of being as soon as recovery and reintegration begins.
One of the biggest things that people experience when they go through a "before" and "after" moment is a test of faith. This usually stems from the idea that whatever higher source they were connected to, wasn’t protecting them at the moment where everything changed. For the Christian, this test of faith fills us with lots of questions, however, when we have our minds set on Christ’s resurrection, we can be rest assured that the "before’s" and the "after’s" in our lives are not mere chronological events, Chronos, but they are the “now” of God’s Kingdom, God’s Time, Kairos. For it is God’s time that engages and encompasses our time, giving us new life through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.
As change happens all around us, which can upset our proverbial apple carts, it is incumbent for people of faith to open our eyes to the Kairos, God's Time as we experience the circumstances (good and bad) in our Chronos, Our linear timeline. When we can do this, we can see, as it is written in the book of Revelation, that God is making all things new. And by golly it is good!
Wheat and grapes become bread and wine. Seen anew in faith, bread and wine become the real presence of Jesus Christ.
I look forward to seeing you Sunday at 8 AM and 10:30 AM either in person or online at YouTube and Facebook. Blessings as always! Fr. Bill+