Are you enchanted with life? As a little child growing up, life had a lot of things to offer: Christmas, snow, and Barbies, to name a few. So many things in life are magical. Children’s imaginations can see so many wonders.
Four Stages of Life
I just read an essay by C. S. Lewis, (thank you Fr. Matt) called, “Talking About Bicycles”. It’s in his book ‘Present Concerns’. He talks about four stages of life using a bicycle as an example: His four stages are: Enchantment, Disenchantment, Un-enchantment and Re-enchantment. I hope you will read it, too.
Thinking about life in general, how true is that? I can totally relate to how experiences in my life many times, put me in those four stages. Think back on your life. Think about your first job, your marriage, becoming a parent. (I’m even thinking about a pair of pants I just had to have that now I can’t stand to wear, lol.)
Let’s think about a job, for example. When you first get hired, you are enchanted. There’s joy in collecting a paycheck and new work experiences. Then, the awe and fun of the new environment wears off. You may have co-workers or a boss whom you may not get along with. Disenchantment sets in. You could start looking for another job because you are un-enchanted with this one. Or maybe you move into re-enchantment with a promotion or a new boss.
Freshness of Life
Ok, so now that we know these four stages, what if we could move through them and not allow ourselves to be stuck in un-enchanted or dis-enchanted? What if we would continually seek new ways to be enchanted and re-enchanted? How can we see the world with fresh eyes on a daily basis?
Every time the first snow comes in November, I love to go outside and just be in it. I still stick my tongue out and want that first snowflake to touch it. I imagine myself inside a snow globe. Now by the time the twentieth snowfall rolls around, I am very disenchanted with it all and I am getting enchanted with the thought of Spring arriving. But could I train myself to be in awe of every snowfall, just by changing my thinking?
What if every snowfall was as enchanting as the first? What if I thought about how wonderful each snowfall was and how blessed I was to live in a climate that actually has snow? I must learn how to turn my thinking around.
One of my favorite movies is Walt Disney’s “Enchanted”. It’s a romantic comedy that has all four stages of life rolled into 107 minutes. It’s an entertaining movie with some great music. (I have the soundtrack downloaded on my phone and I play it when I want to feel enchanted!). But life isn’t a Disney movie, even though sometimes we think it should be.
Change Your Thinking
Our minds have the capability to do these things and so much more. What are you enchanted with in your life? You’ve heard the saying, “Change your thinking, change your life.” It’s true!
I think about these four stages in my relationship with Christ. When I was first baptized as a child, I was enchanted with my new relationship with Christ. When my mother died at 11, I became disenchanted and as a teen and young adult, I was un-enchanted. Then, when I became a wife and mother and entered into the Catholic Church I was re-enchanted. And that is where I will stay. And you can stay there. Because you know what it is like to be in those other stages. To be without Christ in my life is a sad, dark place and I never want to go back there.
So I guess I am saying that these 4 stages are necessary in life. We have to experience the first three to know that the fourth is the place we need to stay. And we need to figure out how to stay in that stage.
The Bible, hits it right on the head when it tells us to be as little children. It is reminding us to be in that stage of enchantment or re-enchantment.
Matthew 18:1-5 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
Enchantment has a lot to do with contentment and gratitude, to be content and grateful for everything you have. Be in awe of your life and where God is working through you and in you. Be enchanted.
Look at life through fresh eyes. Ask God to give you that awareness, to put enchantment or re-enchantment of Him and the life He has given you on your heart. Then seek Him, like a child seeks, with eyes full of expectancy and wonder.
Thanks for following along. Sign up to get this blog in your email each week. Click the link below for a fun song and video from the movie, Enchanted ,and I’ll bet you hum it next time you are cleaning your house. God bless.–Barb