Order. Disorder. Reorder.

I’m preparing remarks for the Celebration of Healing workshop next Saturday with Corinne Zupko and I was thinking about my last presentation in New York with Marianne two years ago. It was the Miracles at Work book launch and Robert suggested I use the occasion to speak on how the word “empowerment” is often code for simply chasing after what we want.

This is such a rich topic and connects to next weekend’s workshop in so many ways.

Over the span of my own career I have climbed the ladder and I’ve surrendered to God’s will and both are profoundly difficult. The ladder has all the shaky insecurity that comes when we feel we have to “make things happen” and surrendering to God’s will requires painful patience and trust to “allow things to happen”.

Surrender, as I’ve learned, also means allowing God to break down who you were and life as you knew it, which appears to be His preferred method for transforming us into the people we need to be to carry forward His plan. This is the part that tends to feel like punishment when, in fact, the blueprint is well-known. Franciscan priest Richard Rohr calls it “order, disorder, reorder.”

We don’t change when we’re comfortable. We change when the very ground of our being shatters completely.

What looks like complete destruction on the outside (and feels like it on the inside) IS the journey of soul growth because we can’t simply jump from order to reorder. Thus, disorder is a natural and required part of the process and we could all save ourselves a lot of suffering if we viewed it that way. As every giant stride in human history has taught us, great change is always preceded by great disruption – and yet somehow we call disruption cruel when it happens to us.

This feels especially true when we’ve given our lives to God. Shouldn’t He just release the floodgate of blessings in response to such a noble sacrifice? Perhaps He does for some, but this has not been my experience. In fact, it’s interesting to watch the video above because – even though I’m talking about grace as a “cold and broken hallelujah” – I was still very much in an “order” phase – and very much blind to the disorder on the horizon.

So….at the Celebration of Healing workshop, here is the question I want to explore: If disorder is part of the contract of growth, then how can we interact with its inherent pain in a way that allows us to emerge on the other side not only whole, but better? This is a conversation I hope we can continue to have as we stumble together towards true, dare I say, empowerment.

PS: If you’re in the New York area and would like to join Corinne and I next Saturday, tickets are available here.