By Richard Bleil
Let me open up by wishing you all a Happy Easter.
That being said, let me state, for the record, that this is not going to be a religious piece. I’m spiritual, but not religious. I don’t believe in the Bible as a source of fact. In the time that it was being written, stories were told by bards who would travel from town to town, and the stories were often based on fact and typically embellished the more it is told. The reality is that the Bible is not even my favorite inspirational guide, but, as far as inspiration goes, it’s, well, if you’ll pardon the pun, a good book.
As far as the Bible goes, I do find marvelous analogies that I draw on for life lessons. In a previous post, I wrote of King Solomon’s Temple, which helped me get through a tragic time in my life.
Easter celebrates the resurrection. According to the Bible, after Christ was sentenced to be crucified. On the death of his body, it was interred in a cave, with a massive rock placed at its entrance, and guards placed to ensure that nobody could access the body. Christ had promised his disciples that he would rise again, so by interring the body as such, the Pharaoh, as I recall, had hoped to prove him a false profit by opening the cave some time later and proving that the body was still there. However, when re-opened, the body was, in fact, gone. Eventually, Christ appeared to his disciples in his spiritual form, thus proving the resurrection.
Whether you believe in the resurrection in the Biblical sense or not, it gets me to thinking of our own resurrection. Of course, I’m not talking about resurrection in the same sense, but rather, as an analogy. See, currently, I am facing a type of resurrection myself. Having lost my job almost a year and a half ago, I’ve “floated”. Having worked in academia for my entire life, it felt as though my academic life had come to an end. Today, new opportunities may well come to pass. I’ve been invited for a second interview for the position of Dean at a small two-year college in about three weeks, and I have a company that has expressed interest in hiring me in a consultant capacity, which we will discuss next week.
After floating as long as I had, it’s looking as if a new life is beginning for me. A resurrection, if you will. Throughout my life, I’ve had multiple resurrections. My teaching career died, and I became the director of a forensic lab. My career in forensics died, and I became Dean of a small private university.
How often are we resurrected in our lives? We all have multiple such resurrections, although we might not think about it. Some aspect of our life dies, and a new one begins. Personally, death never scared me. Like Mark Twain once said, “I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” But it always seems to be a painful transition.
The pain comes from loss of the familiar. It’s always frightening to lose what we know, understand and have come to be familiar with for something new. Graduation from high school is an example of what I am discussing. Whether we went into college, started a new career or something else, this was a transition. Our old life, as a high school student, died, and our life as an adult began. For most of us, our graduation occurred when we were 18 years old, legally an adult (but not old enough to buy alcohol), and no longer a “kid”. Whether or not we suddenly felt grown up is not really the point; the fact is we had been in school for most of the life that we can recall at that point, and started a new phase, filled with uncertainty, questions about how successful we might be, but, ready or not, our new life began.
Moving into our first apartment or home, marriage, divorce, college, new job, moving to a new city, or state, or as now two of my friends had done a new country, the transition always feels like a resurrection. We don’t always have the power to choose whether or not to undergo the transition, but we go through it.
The funny thing is that, as painful as it might be at the time, eventually we settle in to our new life. The death of “married man” to “divorced man” was very painful. I didn’t think that I would ever settle back into single life, but, in reality, my friends and loved ones helped me to adjust, and today my resurrected life goes on.
Perhaps, for Easter, we should dare to broaden the definition of the resurrection to include ourselves. Personally, I’m going to spend the day continuing of thinking about the myriad of resurrections I have had throughout my life, and count the blessings of my friends who have helped me to rise again through each death I have suffered. For those who have loved and helped me throughout, thank you. I hold you dearly in my heart.