By Rev. Elizabeth Rowley

••KEEP••Rev. Rowley BW
Rev. Elizabeth Rowley is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at

I heard a great story recently about a certain lobster who was unhappy with his shell. He complained to his creator and explained that he liked himself and didn’t want a new shell. He asked if he could keep his current shell forever. The creator agreed to the lobster’s desire.

At first, the lobster was very happy with his shell, but as time passed, it became heavy and tight, and he couldn’t feel anything outside himself. Finally, bumping into others, barely able to breathe, and frustrated, he returned to his creator to tell him the shell was not staying the same but was shrinking. The creator explained to the lobster that the shell hadn’t changed at all. Instead, the lobster had changed on the inside – within his shell.

Life brings opportunities for our growth, and it’s up to us whether we choose to grow or maintain the status quo, the comfort zone.

Years ago, when I dabbled in the flying trapeze, I learned a fundamental trick at my first lesson. That trick was to climb the ladder up to the platform, get ready, bend knees, place hands on the trapeze bar, and step off the platform when prompted to do so. Next, place both knees over the bar at the right and perfect time when you have gravity on your side, then hang upside down. Finally, when you swing to the other person waiting on the next bar, you reach for their arms and let go of your bar to be caught by them. Tada! I mastered this trick in five attempts at my first lesson. I felt accomplished and thrilled at how fast I was flying through the air now, and with perfect form.


After coming down from the net, the instructor turned to me and said, “Elizabeth, it’s time for you to learn a new trick.” I thought, wait, what – there are other tricks to learn? I thought this was the end game. But, oh no, “That’s just the beginning,” they said.

I remember thinking I didn’t want to learn a new trick. I just mastered this one. I’ll have to have a beginner’s mind once again, and I was happy feeling like an accomplished expert. Allowing these thoughts safe passage through my mind, I found myself taking the next step forward to learn the new trick.

Isn’t that how life goes for us all? We grow and change constantly. We live in a progressive universe, and the earth is vibrating at a higher frequency than it was ten years ago. It’s changed, and it will continue to change. We are each evolving and growing, and it’s ok.

You’re going to be ok amid your growth and change because you have a connection with Spirit, and you maintain close contact with It, which strengthens your faith and your belief. Your faith and belief are the beams of support that carry you forward. You grow and glow with God!

And so it is.