Today is Groundhog Day… and the poor groundhog Phil got plucked out of his nice warm home to see his shadow. Some days I feel like Phil getting plucked out of my warm bed to face my shadows – the dark areas of my life…
When I think of Shadows I think of the movie Peter Pan. The movie has many scenes with shadows, but I remember when Peter’s shadow is hiding stuffed in the drawer. Peter Pan seems to love his shadow and never wants to be separated from it (including having Wendy sew it to his shoes). For Peter – he is still child-like and finds his shadow as a source of playfulness and doesn’t realize the implications of the shadows that grow as we age. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0uui_ommLI).
Another interesting thing about shadows is sometimes they are in front of me and other times they are behind me. Sometimes they are larger than my body and sometimes smaller. Either way they are ALWAYS distorted image of me – never the true image of me. Like Punxsutawney Phil, when I see shadow it means something BAD.
How I wish I could be like Peter Pan with the resolve to always stay young and child-like, have no concerns over my shadow following me, and only having ONE SHADOW. As a grown up I feel like I have multiple DARK SHADOWS that follow me some days. Shadows of my past mistakes and regrets. The shadows of offenses and scars caused by other people and outside of my control. And the shadows of self-doubt that grows bigger with each passing year. They are dark, heavy, weigh me down, and hold me back.
How many days do I pull out the shadows that have been tucked away in my mind and let them precede me in the day by going in front OR following me throughout the day? Why can’t I just let them shoved away in the drawer? Why have I attached them to me and carry them around?
I have a few choices in regards to shadows 1. I can have a child-like faith like Peter Pan and let only the happy memories be the shadows that follow me around… OR 2. I can have the attitude of Punxsutawney Phil and if I see my shadow it means bad news (it is days like this I need to shove them back into the drawer – LOL).
Scripture even discusses SHADOWS – Psalms 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
WOW — why haven’t I thought of this before — God is bigger than ANY SHADOW that I may ever face (even death itself). He is there and I should NOT be afraid! I have always thought of this scripture in context with funerals… I honestly never thought about it in daily life until I typed the words. God is ALWAYS there!! If he is there for the BIG shadows (death), He will be there for the LITTLE shadows. He CAN and WILL make the shadows disappear if I let them go… Instead, I am like Peter and have sewed them into who I am. But the shadows are not me — they are a distorted version of me!
So how can I PREPARE for the SHADOWS?
1. the best is to give them to God, put them behind me, and forget about them – instead of either shoving them in a drawer in my mind to resurface or sewing them into who I am (Philippians 3:13b “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead).
2. If I am unable to let them go (for now) _ I need to remember God has my back! He is bigger than any shadow I could ever face in life! He knows my shadows and He knows the real ME (without the distorted shadows) and STILL LOVES ME!
If God is for ME, who (or what) can be against ME? – Romans 8:31 – this even includes my shadows!!!