A New Life

You can’t remember being born, but can you imagine what it was like? 

There you are, relaxed and snug, everything at body temperature, no sharp corners or hard edges, nothing to do; you don’t even have to see about getting something to eat, because you are fed automatically through the umbilical cord.  Then, for no good reason that you can see, you are unceremoniously pulled into a strange world that is just about the opposite of everything you are used to.  Hard, cold, complicated.  Then – horror of horrors! – your food source is cut off.  Your chest fills with a foreign element: air.  You squirm and you push it out of you; it makes such a noise as it goes....  You have made your first scream, taken your first breath.  Welcome to the world! 

How is it that we can imagine it so easily?  It’s because we are given a daily insight into what it must have been like.  It was like getting up in the morning!  Your warm bed is like the womb, and you have no work, no worries.... But then that alarm clock goes off!  You feel like Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden. 

It is going to be like that throughout our lives, the wise ones tell us.  We are pulled kicking and screaming into the best things in our lives: from childhood into adolescence, and from there to adulthood, from youth into middle age, and from there to old age – not to mention the next one!  It feels like a world ending, but it is always the beginning of a new and deeper life.  Who would want to return to the womb? 

The human spirit has its ages and stages, just like the body.  What we learn from the body we can apply to the spirit: don’t get stuck at any stage, and don’t even think of going back! 

Donagh O'Shea

These are brief articles, one per month,
on a wide variety of topics concerning the living of the Christian life.