"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Don't Look Back

Mary Engelbreit's charming drawing holds much wisdom in it....
Too often we get caught up in our mistakes and our regrets to live the life we have before us.  Alan Cohen says, "Life is the only school where the exam comes before the lesson."  He writes about a fellow who wished he'd listened to his intuition about a particular car mechanic and not given the guy $500 to repair his car which still didn't work.  Cohen points out that if the fellow learned to identify and listen to his intuition from now on, it was worth the expense.  

In many ways Englebreit's drawing is illustrating this point.  When you don't learn from your mistakes it's like taking the path "No Longer An Option" because you're violating your new-found truth.  I think it's where the expression "it's like banging my head against a brick wall" must have come from.  It's no longer an option to continue along the same path, now that you know better.  

So why do we do it?  Probably because it's what we know, what we're comfortable with.  Cohen continues, "Even if you made a mistake, if you gain understanding and choose a different path as a result, you got it right."  

Another reason we may continue along the same path even when we have new information is what Mark Nepo quotes Megan Scribner as saying, "I'm only lost if I'm going some place in particular."  Nepo tells of a friend who likes to travel around Europe by train.  Her route is determined by what draws her attention.  He writes, "Each point of discovery led to the next, as if some logic out of view were guiding her.  During this phase of her journey, though she often wasn't sure where she was, she never felt lost."  He applies this to life and concludes, "When we can free up our sense of needing to arrive in a certain place, we lessen the weight of being lost.  And once beneath arriving and beneath our fear of failing to arrive, the real journey begins."  He is saying the expectations we set for ourselves can make us feel lost. 

These two devotionals this morning got me to thinking about my "Hopes & Dreams" for my life.  They're different from expectations.  Expectations are a "mind" thing, and I'm able to change my mind about whatever whenever necessary if I'm given a good reason to.  But hopes & dreams belong to the heart, and that is a whole other matter.  I'm realizing why I find it so hard to let go of the things I've wrapped my heart around.  Once you've "set your heart" on something it takes root in a part of your very being that is threatened if you can't achieve it.

This new bit of information is like standing at that fork in the road looking at the two signs:  "Your Life" and "No Longer an Option".  It feels as though my Hopes & Dreams lie down the path to the right.  My rational mind tells me my only option is the path on the left.  

Father, it is time, I realize, to take the path to the left.  I'm trusting that if my Hopes & Dreams were placed there by You, that I will find them along that path.  If they weren't, then please give me peace.

Link to scripture:  Psalm 16:11

Take action: I am at a loss for words except to praise my Lord for His Grace in my life.  Just as I chose the above scripture I received a phone call from a stranger who took the time to look up my phone number in order to tell me how much my Blogs have ministered to her and to encourage me in my writing....


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