Thursday, December 31, 2009
My, oh my! How discouraged I have, so often, been. My past was colored by the belief that every element of my life was to be held up to a Final Inspection … the ultimate examination that determines the acceptability of a finished structure. With each disappointing incident along my life’s path, I felt myself (afresh and anew) a Failure. I labored under the misconception that each step along the way was a decisive and final one. I now know better.
What I now understand is that this whole deal is a construction project. Yep! I was, and continue to be, under construction. What I did not see was the purpose and intent of the Great Architect in my life. Happily, I now get it. I see all of that yucky and unfulfilling work, that was so exhausting and unglamorous, as the necessary clearing away, of all that would impair the ultimate enterprise … the building of the ‘Who’ that I am (someday) to be. (A lot of “site preparation” was required in my life. Much removal of faulty ideas, tainted mindsets, prejudices, and biases cluttered the environment of my “job site.” A lot of rubble and unstable substrata needed removal.) This was played out in a host of frustrating and painful experiences and choices that seemed (at the time) to spell “More Failures.” (These are the times when the world around us may think that we are wasting our time or our talents. They see no impressive outer evidence of anything laudable in our lives … for “site work” is neither glamorous nor entertaining to those looking from the outside.)
With each confrontation with conflict or change, I felt that I had, once again, fallen short of some mysterious Standard. (A religious fundamentalist upbringing contributed greatly to this mindset.) Instead of the refining of myself that I now know was taking place … I saw my walk through life as stumbling and disjointed. Relationships, jobs, and associations seemed to lay haphazardly strewn in my life’s wake. Now I know that each was necessary for the construction of a Foundation upon which I could become who I was designed to be.
I could have built my life as a Lean-To that would provide rudimentary shelter. I had plenty of encouragement to settle for that. “Know your place, and stay in it!” was the constant message from all of the ‘Significants’ of my world. But the Grand Architect of life obviously had other plans for me. And it is definitely so for each of us … you included, my Dear Friend!
So, I ask that you consider, with me, the reality that is our shared life experience. I ask that you allow a new perception of what is going on in your life, as a necessary (and useful) stage or step in the building of a finer and more fulfilled You. Where you see yet another instance of something incomplete, consider that it might be the digging through, and removal of the unsteady ground of unstable thinking or fears … in order to pour a solid foundation of reliable certainty, and resolute determination.
When the ‘walls’ of your life’s structure seem to be so slow in taking shape today … couldn’t it be that Life is guiding you in carefully setting in place a ‘cornerstone’ that will determine the true and certain reference point for sound and reliable choices in your tomorrows? I encourage you to permit patience in this critical step in your life-work. It will make for many happy moments of satisfied reflection as you watch, with confidence, your life’s ‘structure’ take shape. Please be patient with yourself … and Life.
I relish the idea that I may never complete the finishing touches on this building enterprise. For I can reflect on those marvelous cathedrals that inspire and give comfort to all who either stand at a distance and allow the wonder of them to touch their Spirit … or, upon entering, embrace whatever elements of these grand edifices they find speaking to their core. These cathedrals have been built, not by one generation of builders and craftsmen … but by many, who added their contributions to what they had been inspired by and drawn to. It is my hope to have contributed to the site work, foundation preparation, and perhaps even cornerstone laying and wall beginning, that will give inspiration and enthusiasm to succeeding Souls who will enjoy adding their own skills and talents toward the building of a world that will promote loving acceptance of others; caring service to our community; gentle support of neighbors; and a place of respite for those who are weary and worn by life’s storms and trials. Whatever I can add to that Cathedral is a good thing!
This is the cathedral that I give myself to building. This is the blueprint that I have envisioned and given myself to. In this understanding, I can accept all of the ‘site work’ that is my past. I embrace all of those pesky changes and alterations that I had to make to what I had heard others tell me was what I should be … or ought to be doing. (It is now clear that there are all too many “sidewalk superintendants” who are willing and anxious to voice their opinions, as to what they see as the ‘proper’ edifice, that our lives should take shape as.) Happily, I trust the Eternal Architect of life, and rest in the vision that I am given for today’s efforts. I know that the application of my best efforts, in each of my “Todays,” will, ultimately, result in something worthy. This frees me of concern for whatever the “finished product” will be. Giving my best to what is at hand is my immediate responsibility.
I am completely content with allowing Life to take care of whatever the future might be. Not my job! Had I leaned on my past understandings, I would have settled for some lesser structure that would have disappointed and failed to provide comfort for my Spirit. I am now enjoying my daily installments toward something that I am certain will be far better than I could have ever imagined. (For I celebrate my present state of Being as exponentially better than I had ever hoped for.)
I know that all of this may sound at least a bit ‘spatial’ and abstract. But I ask that you permit my thoughts a place in the quiet of your consideration … that your own Inner Voice might whisper whatever Truth or Encouragement that may germinate from my whimsy.
Ultimately, I do think that we can, together, find some measure of comfort in considering this Moment as an acceptable, and even satisfying, step in the direction of our meaningfully enjoyable lifetime. I know that your love and encouraging support have made the structure of my Being much more sound and comfortable. And I thank you for your kind and generous contribution. I bid you “Good building!”
Unless expressly stated, all original material, of whatever nature, created by J. Michael Brown (John-Michael) and included in this weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.