The little girl standing outside Cale Green Park stamped her foot and said loudly, “I want to go!” Beside her, her mother and a friend were struggling with two buggies and two toddlers. Clearly the allure of the children’s playground was very strong.
We often talk of children going through the “terrible two’s”, or the “terrible threes”, a time when they are beginning to assert their individuality. Up to that stage life has been about safety, connection and dependence. Now the part of us often referred to as the ego, is telling them that they can be separate and individual.
In August, when there is no choir, I enjoy joining the congregation. A change of place suggests a change of perspective. But where shall I sit? Where do I feel comfortable? On the left, two thirds of the way towards the back, as usual? That’s the ego doing another of its jobs – keeping me feeling safe.
In the service, saying the Sanctus, rather than singing it, prompted a sudden thought, “Words wander from their original meanings”. Holy, Holy, Holy. That’s about “wholeness and completeness.” A God who is whole and complete. Who has no ego. One in three and three in one.
The road to wholeness may begin with separation and stamping our feet. But that is not the end. The ego only gets us so far. And we can get stuck. The challenge is, as Jesus told his disciples, to “deny ourselves“ – to leave our ego behind.