You can’t get to second base by leaving your foot on first. It’s a fact ball players learn and relearn time and time again. You can’t leave your feet firmly planted on first base. You have to lead off carefully gauging how far you can go without getting picked off. Leading off makes you feel vulnerable and exposed. Progress involves risk. To advance and try to “get home” you have to leave the safety of first base.
It’s like that in the spiritual life. Somehow we manage to advance and find ourselves in a safe place. We’re doing it. With grace, we’ve deepened our prayer, noticed the glory of Creation in nature, or feel a little less alone in the Universe. We’ve gotten to that place and stage where The Mystery is personal and meaningful in a deeper way. We’ve done the work, had a good at bat and now find ourselves at a safe place. For a baserunner, second base is only 90 feet away. For spiritual “runners” the next stage or step seems so much farther. We want to grow and evolve and become who we are called to be yet we don’t want to let go of the security of where we are and what we know.
As I write this, it’s a typical rainy day with mud and muck everywhere. Today’s high school game was cancelled due to rain. Saturday’s opening was a different story. It was a day of sunshine and a win for my favorite team. They played on a turf field at a local college (see photo above). My mom would have loved it. The start of the baseball season is bittersweet. I miss her and feel the closest to her when baseball starts for the local high school team she used to keep score for many years. Saturday was a good day – sunshine and baseball.
Prior to the start of the game, I reflected on those feelings and as I looked on the turf field prior to the game, I had an amazing view looking at first to second base. I’m not sure where I heard or read the saying you can’t get to second by standing on first however, it occurred to me that to move on, to grow and develop spiritually, psychologically and to evolve as a human person, I have to step off first, take a lead and let go of the safety and security of what I know. I have to be willing to run toward something I don’t know yet, haven’t seen and can’t even completely understand.
Liminal space or liminal time is that space and time in between things.
The word liminal comes from the Latin word limen, meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing. Liminal space is where all transformation takes place, if we learn to wait and let it form us.
I’ll say that again – If we learn to wait and let it form us. If we are patient, and if we let go and surrender to the space and time “in between” things. If we are willing to leave the security and safety of first base, we can advance to second and then to third and eventually home.
Questions for reflection: What is holding you on your first base? What do you want to advance toward but are afraid to let go of to get there? What feelings rise up when you imagine letting go of the safety and security of where you are? How do you pray with feelings of vulnerability and exposure? What needs to be transformed in you? Have you experienced liminal space before in your life? Who or what helped you to move on?
Blessings always my friends,
(This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. Spiritual direction or companioning is typically done face to face in a confidential setting. If you would like to explore one on one spiritual direction, or to experience group spiritual direction, please contact me. In the meantime, my hope is that the photos and this blog serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for your prayers and support.)