Full Circle

My friend Kat wrote this great article the other day and it was worth repeating.  Kat is the author of a publication called “The Daily Verse” that delivers a scripture with Kat’s commentary to your inbox each day.  You can subscribe HERE.

Full Circle

Everything is coming around full circle. That seems to be the theme bouncing around in my head as of late. Relationships resembling tendencies from far back in the past, professional situations that are new, yet have the scent of something I’ve been through one, if not many, times before, financial situations that seem to be just short of exact carbon copies of past experiences and the list goes on and on.

So why does it happen? Why do things seem to come “full circle?”

Let’s start with something we can all relate to – relationships. We all have relationships…whether that’s with a spouse, significant other, family member, colleague, friend, enemy and so on. It seems that each and every new relationship that comes our way, is an opportunity for us to display the maturity, character, wisdom and authenticity that has spouted thanks to relationships past. Even long-term relationships seem cyclical – you go through highs and lows…and yet as time unfolds itself, we tend to say “gosh – I feel like I’ve been here before.”

Jobs are similar – even if you jockey around the same company for years, or if you job-hop every 18 months or find yourself insatiably climbing the corporate ladder to never quite “reach the top” you tend to repeat the same patters over and over. Hopefully with each new job, new position or new endeavor, you’re better than you were the last time around, and you have some dollar figures and bullet points on your resume to show for it.

In the biblical story of Jericho, God called his people to march around the city once a day for six days, then on the seventh day, to march around the city seven times, and at the exact moment he commanded, to blow their horns, making the walls crumble. Why didn’t God send a hurricane through the area, or straight-line winds, a tornado, earthquake, or any other “act of God” to make that wall fall? For some reason, he had his people do the same thing – over and over and over, until the wall finally crumbled. Have you ever thought about why God did that? No one can know 100% for sure why God did that, but I’d like to suggest that perhaps…things were going on inside and outside of those city walls that needed to see themselves to completion before God did a mighty work. Patience was instilled in the people marching around the city – humility was undoubtedly being forced onto the inhabitants of the city, knowing that doom was about to befall them. Hearts were changing. God was working – and all the while, march…march…march – over and over and over – round and round and round.

My deduction from this example and the modern-day ones I suggested above is that God is doing an individual work in each one of us, while all the while doing a work in the body of Christ, corporately. He’s instilling each of the unending necessities within each heart and soul as time passes. Some of us are inside of the wall, having to be driven to humility over and over and over. Some of us are doing “everything right” and living in the way we should and having to realize that even by our works and our good character, ethic and hard work – patience is a virtue that God insists us continue to learn. The interesting thing is that those inside the city, and those outside the city are both learning patience and humility. We’re ultimately learning that as much as we’d often like to be, we’re not in control. God is – we are not. It seems to be all to clear, even as I write, that there is a reason that things come full circle.

You’re not going to be the same kind of spouse today as you were this time last year. You’re not going to make the same business decisions as you would have, posed with the same problem, a year ago. You’re not going to take for granted what you took for granted a year ago. Time passes, and as the sun comes up, and the sun goes down, it doesn’t do so in vain – it allows for each moment and each day to pass, all the while molding us into who and what we’ve been designed to be.

For some of us, we have to go through the same things over and over and over – all of our lives, and never really allow that process to grow us. Some of us grow by leaps and bounds, soaking up ever experience along the way shaping us into smarter, more mature individuals with an ever-improving character and display of authenticity. So look at your life today – what things have come full circle? What things are you facing that it seems you’ve been facing your entire life that never seem to go away? What could God be showing you? Do you need to “do” something different? Do you need to have a different attitude toward the same old problem?

For me, I write this as I sit alone, out on my deck in the nice wants-to-be-fall weather. I typically write when I’m alone. I’ve gotten feedback that the things that I write when I’m alone have great impact. This happens to me over and over and over. I want to have impact – it’s something I feel called to. However, I hardly EVER spend time alone. After writing this, even if it only impacts me, I should know that me needing to carve out alone time is crucial to fulfilling one of the many things God has me here for. Yet…do I do it? Have I arranged my routine and my schedule in such a way that I do it regularly? Still not yet. I have to be forced into it. The people closest to me are all doing what they need to do right now – and I’m not a part of any of those things. No pity party on me – it’s just that tonight, I’m forced to be alone – therefore I write. How come, still, after years of learning that I write well when I spend time alone, do I not discipline my mind and my body regularly in order to do this, to my (and maybe even to others’) benefit?

I can’t answer that – even for myself – so I sure can’t answer for you why things seem to come full circle – but I know that they do. What I can do is encourage myself and encourage you, to look at your life. Ask yourself what is coming full circle and why. Then, my challenge to both myself and to you – is to entertain the idea of doing something different. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m going to start spending one night a week alone -but maybe it starts with one night at a time. Maybe for you that doesn’t mean the crash course diet to lose that same 15 pounds, but rather it means making one decision at a time toward exercising more or eating more healthy. Perhaps you need to learn to say “no” more – and the next time you feel obligated to say “yes” you practice saying “maybe” or even “no.” Maybe you need to look at the same old thing that feels like the thorn in your side with a new perspective. Perhaps you need to exercise looking at that thing through new eyes – from a different perspective.

Whatever it is – I encourage you to do it. Things come full circle for a reason. Sometimes, it’s so that God can remind us that He’s God and He wants to bless us with repeated blessings – over and over and over. Sometimes it’s so that we can learn, grow and mature into being the kind of person who learns to more easily set our worries at the foot of the cross. Imagine what you’d be capable of if you set every worry at the foot of the cross, and surrendered to God being in full control of your life and everything that affects it. Let us lean toward that in our actions, in our decisions, in our preconceived notions, our assumptions and our attitudes. That would be an awesome occurrence worth being repeated over and over and over!

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  • michelle parker September 24, 2008  

    My family calls this process…”around the mountain again”. Just like Moses and the Israelites traveled for forty years in the desert going around and around. I used to say (okay I still do) that I sure wish I’d learn the lesson, so I can move on to the Promise Land. I realize now, that some of these cyclical things are steady reminders of God’s presence, his control and ultimately my freedom. They’re not always lessons that I haven’t learned. There just God being God! That liberates me. I get to stop trying so hard and just live, even if it’s in circles!

  • waswrittenin September 24, 2008  

    That’s an awesome article… totally what I needed to hear… Thanks for sharing!

  • sasha September 24, 2008  

    you said so eloqently what god has been tring to get through to me in recent months…thank you for letting the voice of god speak through your full circle moment. what a blessing!!

  • Heidi September 25, 2008  

    WOW…. what an amazing prose.

    I say prose, because in my head it was so poetic. I love that God is making my life a full-circle.

  • Rachel Rowell September 26, 2008  

    LOVE this! Thank you. It definitely had impact.