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A Mother's Womb and the Spiritual Journey

We all came from our mother’s womb, although most have no memory, only tales of what it was like from family and knowledge from science. Thomas Keating offers a spiritual metaphor from our existence in the womb that has gotten me thinking in recent months.

Keating said that our spiritual journey on earth is similar to the time we spentin our mother’s wombs. While there we received all that we needed to growand mature. The umbilical chord was our real attachment to our mom and from itcame nourishment and care. He said the spiritual journey is like that. We cansee ourselves in the womb still attached to the umbilical chord of the Holy Spirit,Who provides all the air, food and needs that we have. He says that we stay attachedto the chord until we are finally birthed into heaven.

The idea has really clicked with me as I have quite a traumatic tell of my journeyfrom the womb. I actually got stuck in my mother’s womb. I was facing thewrong direction and ended up being induced over a week after my due date. Mypoor mother delivered a 10 pound, breach baby vaginally! I’m sure no doctorin his right mind would attempt that today.

Isn’t the spiritual journey much like what we know about our existencein our mother’s womb? We are there growing and trying to make sense ofwho we are and why we are here. Some of us leave the womb prematurely and areless prepared for life in the real world. My daughter was born three weeks early,a delight to me; but she did miss out on three weeks of maturity that might havehelped her ward off the jaundice that plagued her in her early weeks of life.My son was induced three days early and was definitely full term at 9 pound 2 ½ ounces.One of my most treasured memories from his birth was when the nurses held himup for me to see him. There were several people in the room and many voices filledthe place. It was only when I spoke his name that he looked straight at me andtoward my voice. As he developed in the womb, he had grown to know the voiceof his mom.

I find comfort in the womb as a picture of spiritual growth. There is so muchI don’t understand about this world and how it all fits together. But themost important development I’ve made is to learn to hear the voice of God.I’m planning not to get stuck in the womb for my spiritual birth into heaven.I figure if I keep my focus on that voice and the ways He is at work in thisworld I’ll be facing the right direction this time when I am called toheaven.

Nicodemus wondered what it meant to be born again. Jesus answered, I tellyou the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of waterand the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.You should not be surprised at my saying, You must be born again. The wind blowswherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes fromor where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit (John 3:5-8). Enjoy your time in the womb and your birth in the Spirit!


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