I love watching our horses in the pasture. When they are at ease and grazing, it is remarkably peaceful. Almost daily, though, something startles them and they run to the other end of the pasture, turn around and look into the direction of whatever scared them. This is a natural instinct. Wild horses do this, as well. When something blows past them or pops up out of nowhere, they will run to a perceived safe distance, turn and face where they just came from. This is called re-circling. It makes me giggle watching my horses when they do this because it usually seems so dramatic. When they turn they usually snort indignantly. Its all very dramatic.
What is so amazing about this instinctive behavior is that we also find it in scripture. Jesus has numerous occasions when he re-circled. He would retreat to a safe place and look at the circumstance from a distance before determining if it was something he should walk away from or something he needed to go towards. Jesus re-circled when he would feel the pressure from the Pharisees. He would retreat and then determine if he needed to press into what was happening or walk away. There were moments for both.
Are there moments in your life when you need to re-circle? I know there are in mine. When I first moved to Texas I wasn’t in an emotionally safe environment to process the move. Mark and I decided to change church communities and when we found our church, I finally felt safe to process all the change. Over that Summer I spent my time allowing myself to grieve and press into the pain of loss. Re-circling is wisdom. Taking a step back to see the big picture allows us to assess whether what we are looking at is something that is ours to press into or carry, or if what we see is something we need to reject.