Beliefnet
On The Living Edge

Mark J. Chironna, MA, PhD

November 12, 2013

 

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:6

 

At an earlier season of my life when I was seeking to recognize and identify the unfolding patterns taking place in my life and “connect the dots” to gain clarity, and see the “big picture”, I was told, “Internal integrity leads to external integration”.

 

The statement, rather deep and profound, raised a question regarding its full meaning, which led me on an adventurous quest.

 

There are all sorts of things that “fall” into our lives, or are “dropped” into our laps when seasons change and things begin to converge.

 

We’ve all had things that drop into our lives that are unwanted and unwelcomed. They serve often as seeming interruptions and disruptions to the continuity of the flow of our desired or predictable existence. It is in those seasons that we have to make adjustments, course-correct, and deal with obstacles and detours on the road to our desired outcomes.

 

These unwanted things that “drop” and “fall” into our lives provide opportunity for resilience in the midst of resistance, and enlargement in the midst of adversity.

 

Yet there are other times and other seasons, equally attention getting, when everything seemingly just “falls in place” and everything comes together, even better than you imagined. There is an intended path that you are called to walk on where there is a singular grace and blessing for you. When those seasons come, you experience confirmation that you are on that intended path, and it is as if “Paradise Lost” has become “Paradise Found”.

 

The boundary lines of your life purpose and assignment “fall” and “drop” into place exactly as desired and dreamed. Things on the outside align with the yearnings and dreams on the inside. These are moments rich and pregnant with meaning, and full of irresistible elegance.

 

While it may seem as if they happen “accidentally on purpose”, in fact, there is a profound connection between what is going on inside of you and how it corresponds to what it taking place outside of you.

 

Internal integrity, internal wholeness and well-being-ness, is something we all strive for. To have integrity is to have a level of soundness, where everything within you comes together and works together. It is a place where the fragmented areas of your inner life begin to be mended and healed and what was once an inner enemy now becomes an inner ally.

 

Internal integrity isn’t a destination you ultimately arrive at, it is a state you have to constantly maintain, precisely because your imperfections and your inner conflicts are continually finding ways to deter you from moving forward.

 

There is grace that comes when you accept that imperfection is part of the world you live in. When you begin to allow peace to govern and guide you in all that you think, feel, say, and do something shifts on the inside. You find yourself accessing a place of internal congruence where all the pieces of your life (the good, the bad, and the ugly) begin to fit.

 

You could say that internal congruence is the essential foundation for external coherence, which is another way of saying that internal integrity leads to external integration. In other words, when things come together on the inside of you, things fall into place on the outside.

 

The opposite of integration (things coming together) is dis-integration, where things “fall apart”.

 

Ancient Hebrew wisdom, as revealed in David’s life, shows that a disregarded, insignificant, shepherd in his family’s house, was actually born to be king and be a giant-slayer. Through all the seasons of things falling into his life that were unwanted and unwelcomed, and you name it, from rejection by his own family, to lions and bears, and even hatred by King Saul, David ultimately rises to a place of enthronement in life.

 

The boundary lines of his inheritance, his allotment in life, his destined blessing, ultimately “fell” into their proper places, and those places were pleasurable.

You don’t have a soul; you ARE a soul. It is in being a soul that there is a profound connection between your inner reality and your outer experience. The alienation and separation of our original parents in Paradise disconnected our souls from God, ourselves, each other, and the world we live in.

 

Grace makes a way for us to find our way back to Paradise, where everything comes together on the inside and falls together on the outside. It happens by relinquishing and surrendering our ego-driven effortful life, and denying our egocentric self the opportunity to sabotage our genuine destiny. It is a death process, yet it is a death to everything that destroys the elegance and irresistibility of what truly wants to happen, and surrender to allowing all things to work together for your good. Your intended purpose is much larger than your imagined purpose.

 

The lines want to “fall to you in pleasant places”. Do the daily inner work of surrendering, allowing, yielding, and dying to all that is unhealthy and disintegrates you, and watch how internal congruence leads to external coherence, and internal integrity leads to external integration.

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