A New Journey with a New Perspective
Today starts my second attempt to journey through The Artist’s Way. I use the word “attempt” not because I didn’t complete my journey the last time, but because I know that I have changed. And because I have changed, my next journey will be different – even while I am traveling the same pathway. Same path, different journey.
“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
I can take the same journey today that I took yesterday and it will be a different journey because my strengths (my understanding) and my weaknesses (my forgiveness) will be different—they will have been changed by the previous journey.
And when I take that same road again (O, that Oft Traveled Road!) I will see and understand and relate differently because I am changed—just as your perspective changes when you seek to see and relate to the world while carrying the mind of Christ. What you were no longer is, what you will become has yet to be seen. All you can really be sure of is that you will change.
Mind you, The Road doesn’t always change you for the better. Sometimes you are hardened by the road. If you do not seek forgiveness as much as you seek understanding then you run the risk of a hardened heart.
“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” -Flora Whittemore, author
And if you only seek to forgive and be forgiven as you travel, and do not search also for understanding, then you will weaken. You will weaken to the point that you will no longer be a good and useful servant to the Christ, but a gelatinous blob of emotion and feeling—bereft of strength, lacking even the one good arm you need to help pull others up when they have fallen, that others need to use to pull you up when you have fallen.
So much of our journey is spent pulling others up and being pulled up. Do you have the strength? Do you have the understanding? The compassion? Is your foundation strong? Can you understand another’s weakness? Can you forgive another who has hardened their heart to the pain of this world? Can you forgive your own?
“Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.” -Simone Weil
Speaking of “efforts”, I am reminded of something a friend at church said yesterday. She was telling us about talking to her doctor about her exercise program. Her doctor had asked if she was working hard enough to work up a sweat. She had said no, though she felt she was doing the best she could….but her doctor assured her that if she wasn’t working up a sweat then she wasn’t working hard enough for it to do any good. She said that the next time she went to the gym she put in the extra effort, worked up a sweat and could really feel the difference (yeah for you, J!).
What she said started me thinking and reminded me of the quote above. I have to wonder, if I will be rewarded in direct proportion to my efforts I may be in trouble…I haven’t really broken out into a sweat yet. I’m moving, moving constantly, my days are filled with efforts–but have I broken into a sweat? No, not really. I think it’s time I did…