I did not think that others would so quickly realize how wondrously challenging it can be to simply God-pivot and free ourselves from various prisons (or another metaphor for what we allow to hinder us: bad "marriages").
So I this nothing consecrated Catholic hermit had quite a surprise when two spiritual friends with whom I'd been rather harsh (but not nearly as harsh as I've been on myself) made contact and were grateful and determined to step up to the next level on the stairway to heaven, with me.
The view changes, and we must get used to the perspective, the new challenges, the adaptation to freedom.
Like true prisoners released, however, the old, learned securities of how we had been, of our habitual cells and chains, tempt us to return. (It is said that sometimes released prisoners commit another crime in order to return to prison when their freedom and trying to adapt to the outside world becomes too difficult.)
Yesterday I had some thoughts of pain in negative terms that quickly were shooed away. There were frustrations with using the framing nail gun after months of health challenges and too much time resting. I did not get the cross-brace 2x6's nailed between the vaulted ceiling joists. The nail gun was heavier than I recalled--until I faced the reality that my muscles have weakened. It is going to take time and physical effort to rebuild, and today I continue on with the overhead project.
So we must continue on with adapting to and rejoicing in the next step. I thought much yesterday of St. Paul and St. Peter--of the times they were imprisoned and of the angel who stood outside the cell, telling them to walk out of the open cell door, light all around. Surely there were other prisoners in the prison on each occasion in which one or other of the apostles were imprisoned but miraculously set free?
The other prisoners did not just walk out through open cell doors. This fact reminds me that we all may not be set free at the same time. Some may need more incarceration, and that can be due to not having the God-pivot moment of seeing that often we are the ones keeping ourselves jailed. Sometimes it can be that we have allowed some situation or person to keep us locked into negative, imprisoning circumstance, thought, emotion or spiritual darkness.
I suppose the God-pivot I've been experiencing is literally God's angel standing at the door of my mind and heart and spirit, shining light upon my prison cell, and showing me, telling me, that I can simply walk free. Just walk out of it mentally, emotionally, and spiritually even if I cannot bodily leave my own body or living situation in a physical manner. The other aspects are so freeing that the physical fades with the new perspective of a higher step on the heavenly stairway.
Then the consideration presents itself: The apostles freed by walking out of their jail cells when the doors were opened, their chains unlocked did later on become imprisoned again. And once again they were able to escape. This may happen to us, repeatedly, phase by phase, or even a recurrence of some of our old habits or "crimes." Or, we may be in a type of parole, with our angels checking on us and reminding us to stay "clean" and to avoid our incarcerating habits of which we'd been freed.
Eventually, we will have the ultimate freedom from the daily, temporal distractions and habits that imprison us, or at least try to lock us into place, keep us from walking up the stairway to heaven. That freedom will be as it was for the apostles and for anyone who has lived: we will physically die.
But if we have freed our minds, hearts, and spirits by God's grace and mercy, and have walked repeatedly out of whatever cells of which doors have been opened for us, we will not consider physical death so necessary a final escape. We will have already walked free in eternal essence, that which we take with us, our minds, hearts, and spirits.
Such a surprise to this consecrated Catholic hermit, that at least two have not chosen to remain in their cells and are willing to walk out of their cells, as well--as best we can, of course. We try. And like others, we may find ourselves tempted to go back to prison in one way or another. We may find ourselves in the same cell or in some other prison cell, but we can be freed as many times as we are imprisoned.
God provides the God-pivot! He is Love and Mercy!