Sunday, June 15, 2008

When nothing speaks

So, I went out yesterday with the intention to hear from God. I wanted the direction that everyone says comes from places of openness and abandonment. I wanted to find out where my "next" was. So I sat, surrounded by a dozen or so people, my thoughts were turned inwards, searching for the kernel of an answer that I just knew had to be there. Many times I have pondered, wondering how all that I love and want to do will play together. I want to know (as I am sure we all do) how the skills, desires and abilities will somehow coalesce into something tangible, something forward moving, something life altering. I want to know my future.

But, as I sat there, the one thing that kept reverberating in my mind was a simple phrase- "don't rush it.". Don't rush what, my desire for clarity? I would hardly venture to say that the path towards purpose I am on is a hurried one. No, it's been full of setbacks, pitfalls, and detours I never would have nor could have accounted for if given the chance. I move forward, only to realize that it seems as if I am going in circles with the same thing continuing to repeat itself. But then I am reminded of an analogy...

We always speak of climbing mountains, as if the pinnacle of said mountain is our dream fully actualized. I'm not going to seek to refute that mindset, so let's go with it for a minute. If you've ever been hiking up the side of a mountain, you know that the best way to hike it is to essentially backtrack your steps over and over again. These paths are called "switchbacks," and what you find yourself doing is travelling in a zig zag pattern up the mountain constantly going higher and higher until the apex (or your respective basecamp) is reached. What's interesting is that you are liable to see the same view from the mountain a few times through the course of your trek- but you're not lost. Yes, you've been here before, but "here" is slightly different because you are now looking from a slightly higher vantage point. Your perspective has changed. Where once the trees that stood before you appeared to be a seemingly insurmountable ridgeline, you are soon eye level with treetops towering hundreds of feet above where your journey first began. You now see and live where birds freely fly, untouched by the predators that could have at one time so easily ensnared them. Yeah, the view's very similar, but now you can see a little more and gaze a little farther. Now the present that once looked so bleak looks glorious in the light of the setting sun. Now the present has become the past and your triumph over it propels you ever forward to a higher future. Oh yeah, and let's not forget that your new vantage point gives you the wisdom to be able to look at what others travelling the same path are experiencing and call out to them, reminding them that perseverance wins. Wait it out, push forward, and know that the present isn't for always and that the higher you go, the brighter it gets and the bluer the sky becomes.

So, what won't I rush? This process. Its painful and at times my heart aches to be settled, but there's beauty in pain for those committed enough to find it. There's purpose always lurking even if its difficult at times to see it. So, I'll cherish this process, I'll relish it and all that it will teach me. Every step is a step higher, and though the scenery may seem similar, I know I'm ultimately headed to something more and won't always stay here.

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