Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow Knows! I couldn’t count how many times I went to sleep as a little girl listening to this radio mystery pouring out of my Panda Bear radio. It was thrilling and scary to think about the unseen Shadow was out there battling darkness. (The irony was lost on me obviously).
I never met that crime fighting shadow. But I have met the shadow that is me. It sometimes carries the parts of me that I loathe, at other points the shadow contains my fears, always it carries the DNA of my anger and hurt. And sometimes I allow that shadow to control and dominate me. I refuse to revisit a decision, or give someone the benefit of the doubt, or take the step my intuition tells me to take.
Last week’s sermon focused on the book of Esther and the “shadow missions” that threatened to co-opt Esther, Xerxes, Hamon and Mordecai. The shadow mission was the framework – the driver – that the character used to make their decisions and set their life courses. Esther was threatened by comfort, Xerxes by protecting his ego. Hamon by his need for importance. And while I couldn’t study Mordeaci much I did wonder if he just bordered on a martyr’s complex.
If you are having a difficult time finding your shadow – consider these top ten shadow missions as described by John Ortberg (below) from his little booklet on Shadow Mission. And if you want to go deeper into your shadow the slim gem by Robert Johnson, Owning your own Shadow is one I reread at least once a year, because I’ve learned, the shadow knows all the stuff I’m trying to hide.
Top ten Shadow Missions —
- Just give me home, health and a hefty 401 k.
- Busy, busy, busy
- I don’t care who’s in charge…as long as its me.
- Show me the money.
- It is all about me
- Maintaining hidden addictions
- I’ll think about it tomorrow
- Looking nice by avoiding conflict
- Climb the ladder first, put people second
- Shop away your angst