Friday, December 30, 2016

Lesson of the Catapult

There are many people who feel that their life path is not headed in the right direction.  Life tends to throw us curve-balls sometimes and it can be frustrating to keep up.  Instead of feeling inspired and at peace, sometimes we may even feel like we are moving backwards instead of forwards.  I was in this position a few years ago.  I couldn't understand why certain things kept happening or why certain people in my life suddenly became 'toxic' to my spirit.  I felt like I was being pulled down.  What I didn't understand at that time, is what I now recognize as the lesson of the catapult.

Before I explain the amazing yet paradoxical idea of the catapult from a personal growth perspective, the English teacher in me needs to provide some definitions, etymological origin and context to the word 'catapult'.  Let's start with the etymology of the word.  Before the common French and Latin base from which the word derived, there was the Greek 'kata' and 'pallein', which translates to "down hurl".  It was later that the Latin 'catapult' translated to: "war machine for throwing".  To 'hurl down' can be seen as a common idiom, when something or someone is pushed to the ground.  The catapult as a machine, launches or sets in motion, the thing to be 'hurled'.  If you look at the catapult from the context of a war device, it caused destruction and great impact based on force, which resulted only through the process of launching. 

Let's take the idea of the catapult as a war device and apply it in a deeper, more spiritual context.   I strongly believe that change is impossible without action.  I also think that many people avoid change out of fear of the unknown or sheer disturbance that is caused by leaving one's comfort zone.  Change requires effort.  It requires facing some scary inner-deamons sometimes too.  This is when God takes charge and provides the catalyst.  When we are at war with ourselves, the same tactical devices apply.  I find it interesting that in the Bible, David takes down Goliath with a hand sling (i.e. hand held catapult).  There is definitely a spiritual component to God using catalysts and catapults in our lives.  I think that if we can understand the mystical nature of the catapult, we can win the war against fear or any other stumbling block in our lives.

Using the Biblical story of David and Goliath as a reference, I'm sure David must have felt fear when he was faced with Goliath.  His faith is what allowed God to use him to destroy Goliath, but how many of us can look fear in the eye and not tremble?  Imagine now that God decides to grace you with being catapulted out of your current situation.  What would that feel like?  I know myself that I'd be shaking in my boots.  In fact, a few years back when I was facing my own Goliath, that is exactly what happened.  I couldn't rely on anything BUT my faith to get me through that situation.  Perhaps that is a key to the whole lesson - can you rely only on your faith in the face of fear? or will you allow your inner-Goliath to win?  

It's only once our inner Goliath is defeated that we can fully understand the value of the catapult.  Of course it's scary, but think about it - you are being 'launched', moved with force to a new place.   It may FEEL like you're being 'hurled down', or pushed to the ground, but in fact, you are being 'set in motion' for something new.  I recognize now that all the toxic people and situations in my past were catalysts to launch me to a different place and frame of mind.  There are so many analogies that can be used to describe this: the rough diamond that must be polished, the labour pain before the delivery, the struggle of the plant to grow, the stumbling first step before learning to walk etc etc.   

The lesson of the catapult is to allow God to take you to that next level.  However, instead of fear of being hurled down, we need to trust the process.  How do we know that God isn't using us/launching us to a whole new life?  Be like David - Have FAITH!

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