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brancastleA couple of years ago, Patti and I visited Bran Castle near Brasov, Romania. You would know this place as Count Dracula’s Castle. Since it is the only hilltop castle in all of Transylvania, Bram Stoker drew heavily from written accounts of the place when he introduced the world to his Dracula. The Dracula theme is definitely a big draw, but the real truth about all that is not so sensational.

During one part of our tour of the castle, we were ushered into a very tiny stone-milled spiral staircase that actually skipped a floor and connected the kitchen (on the first floor) to the living quarters (on the third floor). Two-way traffic on this staircase was nearly impossible. It was made for one person’s journey alone! Not only that, it was kind of dark in there, dank, extremely tight, and highly claustrophobic. What was even more noticeable as you climbed that stairway was that you lost your sense of direction and any real sense of peripheral progress. It was a crazy sensation on that creepy little path.

What got me thinking about all of this was due to a message I heard Dr. Bob Nichols give last Sunday in a church here in Waco. I told you, I go to church… sometimes… so get off my back about it.

Dr. Bob was talking about this very thing—that nauseating feeling of being claustrophobic and confined when one season has ended and we haven’t fully gotten into the next season.   Transition only feels like it lasts forever.

“My dove, in clefts of the rock, in a secret place of the ascent, cause me to see thine appearance, cause me to hear thy voice, for thy voice is sweet, and thy appearance comely” (Song of Solomon 2:14, YLT).

Here, the groom is coaxing the bride to come forth from the secret place. Oh wait, not just any secret place, a secret place of the ascent. You can make all the connections, right? God is coaxing the bride (us) to come out of the secret places of confinement. And what feels unending and peripherally redundant actually becomes a proving ground for vertical ascent.

Dr. Bob was basting this big idea in the notion that it’s possible to be making positive progress without necessarily knowing it, feeling it, or having any tangible sign of a “life changing” opportunity. All the while, we get to choose the attitudes and emotional climate that internally governs our moving up or down that spiral staircase. Read: anger, self-pity, blame, being reckless, irresponsibility, or unhealthy fear as “moving downward” influences.

Let me close with Dr. Bob’s final thought to this part of his sermon. Let me warn you… it’s a doozie.

“Opportunity can only be seized by you, when you are seized by it before it arrives.”

I’m pretty sure we’re much more seize-able when we’re climbing.

No gig lasts forever. That also includes your season in the hiding place. Keep moving. The way is up whether you know it or not.


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Joseph Rodriguez
    March 27, 2014 at 9:04 am

    OOOHHH!!! you caused a bit of a stir brother… Lode bar….

    • March 27, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Climb and hang! I thought that was your motto? ; )

  2. March 27, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    super good! xox

    On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 8:57 AM, Mike Paschall

  3. Vanessa O.
    March 27, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Perfect to read today…thanks mike!

  4. March 27, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    “Transition only feels like it lasts forever.” Promise? 😉

    • March 27, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      unless you choose to stay stuck… : /

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