Can you imagine that there is a way open to whatever it is that you have longed for, yearned for? But what exactly is the ‘gate of the year’ and what is on the other side? These and many other questions are raised from pondering this and because we all know that nothing stands still or stays the same Our experience of life is meant to be fluid, although we maybe tend to try to avoid this fact, moment by moment life is forever changing whether we like it or not!
We are all travelling on what seem to be disjointed and fractured paths, but the journey is always to call us further along. We sense this because yesterday is far gone and, we are not even who we were. Time is a challenging and elusive concept and we have to play be its rules. That is the way it is!
As we have asked what is ‘the gate of the year’, I turn to a poet to express this phrase. Her name is Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957) and she wrote this poem God Knows in 1908. I quote the following from it,
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God,
trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards
the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.”
These words speak volumes to us and sound as if they might be found within the Scriptures such as God’s prophets Ezekiel or Daniel. Royalty has been endeared to the words, from King George VI and also read out at the funeral of Elizabeth, The Queen Mother in 2002. To read more about Minnie Haskins please follow this link, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsehistory/2013/12/10/the-gate-of-the-year-minnie-louise-haskins-1875-1957/
May these words speak to all who encounter them, they are reassuring that we do not walk alone, but that we can reach out to God and he will be there to help and guide us. And so it is that this morning I am aware of there being for all of us gates that we have walked through and gates still to come. Once you start noticing them, gates are everywhere! However, it is to the one’s unseen that I now turn my focus.
The Gates of our Mind
Having recently read, and reread, the book by DR. Caroline Leaf, “Switch on your Brain: The key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health. As the blurb on the back cover tells us, she merges science and the Bible. This book gives a fascinating insight into how we can change our thinking and be transformed. Just as in opening or closing gates, just as the Bible in the Book of Romans, chapter 12 has said for 2,000 years!
We can be renewed in our minds, and alter our responses, which I find will give us healing, and a way out of negative thoughts to more healthy ones. If you ‘think’ that the past and life has you stuck or trapped, then literally, ‘think again’. No matter what gate, (or call it a door or portal or whatever you will), things can change and you can be set free from what has stopped you living your life to the fullest.
Our Spiritual Gates
These are found through experiencing an altered state of consciousness; a part of which we were created to discover and the reason why we can seek and find God Almighty through a subjective and personal encounter. This is well attested to and written by many past Christian Saints throughout history and, also through believer’s testimonies today. This is the way we, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” Psalm 100:4.
How amazing is it that we have a spiritual side to our humanity. We are all on a Spiritual journey, and God reveals to us how to follow the spiritual path, through believing in Jesus who was raised from the dead and ascended to heaven.
The Bible speaks of God being, “Acquainted with all our ways.” And with the Psalmist, we can say, “You hem me in, behind and before.” Psalm 139:5. This is the security we can have and yet paradoxically, we also can know that as our shepherd He “Leads us in paths of Righteousness.”
Psalm 23:3. We can surely have complete confidence in God to help us, as we approach the threshold of the gate to pass through.
All gates are exit or entry points and we can choose to exit the past and walk into a spacious place where joy resides, we can enter that place as yet unknown because our choices are powerful and we can carry with us His promises in our hearts.
If we let fear of the future or the unknown paralyze our thoughts and freeze us to the spot with trepidation we are like stagnant water, so we need to have a brilliant thought. Our mind’s not our situations control our progress, our brains control our bodies (not the other way around as has previously been taught). In getting to the root of the reasons why will heal us ready to walk through to the destiny and purpose preordained for us since before time began.
Help to step over the threshold
All very easy to suggest as I am sure you are aware, but this is possible with prayer and support, God wants what is very good for you, He opens the gate on the cage and we must be open to going through it into freedom. Perhaps life is only a series of gates which lead us along towards God Himself.
If like me you are ready and are searching for the gate to pass through and out of your present circumstances, eager to move on towards the future promises you hold dear, then let us begin by asking God into the situation. It is written that if we, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7: 7-8.
Now as we are more aware of these gates and what state they may be in whether mental or spiritual or in the physical they all have significance and impact more than we might have at first thought. If it is true that the seen reflects something of the unseen, then take a look around you at what gates you notice. I did this once just out walking and there is a variety of styles and shapes and state of repair they are in.This last illustration depicts an icon which shows the resurrected Jesus grasping those in need by the wrist.
This final illustration depicts an icon which shows the resurrected Jesus grasping those in need by the wrist. We are not dependent upon holding on to Him, so we cannot let go and fall. He holds us secure in His grasp. As it is written, “No one shall snatch them out of my hand.” John 10:28
The Harrowing of Hell Icon
To draw this all together, and to finish, be open to what gates are coming, and be confident to pass through, for you will only pass this way on the journey once, make good choices and let God guide you, There are gates of healing and, He will if you ask, take secure hold of you and bring you the closure you need. As for me, I would rather God hold onto me than go it alone any day.
Now where is that gate I am seeking….