Rubik Cube

My life feels a bit like a Rubik Cube at the moment, with all the little pieces being turned incube various ways, seeking some kind of new alignment.  There are a lot of moving parts at the moment.  Here are just a few of them:  beginning the leave-taking process from the wonderful community of faith that is St Elisabeth’s, preparing to be a faculty member for a week teaching leadership to recently ordained clergy, taking time with my family for vacation, buying a house including decisions about schools and renovations, anticipating stepping into my call as rector of St Simon’s at the end of July, being sure the kids have labels in their camp clothes and attending to all the myriad details necessary for all those things to happen as well as possible.

  At any given moment, I can get one color of little squares to line up on one face of the cube.  And it is very rewarding.   All of the rest of cube may be a chaotic mess, but the side that is done is pleasing in its consistency.  What I don’t like, however, is the fact that if I want to have each side its own color then I must ‘un-do’ the face that is already done.   When I’m able to let go of the small bit of wholeness in favor of the larger one, I inevitably experience an unleashing of freedom and joy and energy.   The Rubik Cube image helps me remember why I’m twisting and shifting those squares, fiddling with the pieces until they are aligned.   Once I sense that things are aligned well, I know that peace deep within that inner place where I know and am known:  this is the right next step.

Perhaps what most intrigues me is having the metaphor itself.  Sometimes I can be self-critical, wondering why I can’t seem to make a decision or why I can’t take the risk to allow myself to let go of what I can see in favor of the greater wholeness.  Having an image like the Rubik Cube allows me to see myself with a little humor, a little more creativity and an expanded sense of possibility.  I can ask myself just where do I fit in this picture in this moment in my life and how might I best move forward?  At different times I answer these questions in different ways.   An image has flexibility, allowing the Spirit to engage me and create space in my thinking in real time.

I think this is the gift of scripture and as well.  Jesus certainly loved using images to describe how to live a faithful life.  And the images begin long before Jesus, with stories about creation and wandering in the wilderness and being lost in the belly of a fish because of a refusal to do what was asked.  Images help us to make sense of our lives, to find our way forward and to expand our thinking in real time.  I trust that all of the moving parts in my own life will ultimately find a new alignment eventually, even if the process is a little messy.   It occurs to me that this is a Rubik Cube moment for the church as well, both at St Elisabeth’s and the larger church.

There is a wonderful prayer from the Book of Common Prayer that I find is a good companion in seasons such as this:

   O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.