Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I couldn't have said it better ...

I'm a firm believer that when it is time, God, your higher power, the cosmos (whatever term is comfortable to you) will offer you the guidance and the wisdom you need to move through the place you find yourself ...

Over the last couple of years I have been on a gut wrenching journey that has been marked by revelation after revelation ... There have been moments when I thought I had learned all there was to know about myself, only to discover that I hadn't plunged deep enough, nor peeled back the appropriate layers ... The last few weeks have been among the best and worst of times in my life ...

I've been confronted with many things that have been far from comfortable and have often been down right uncomfortable, but along the way, I have also discovered things about myself that will help me in my journey to find a new way in both life and ministry. The hardest part for me right now though, is the knowledge that for some it doesn't matter what I learn about myself, or what I discover ... they've made their minds up and there is no room for grace, forgiveness or second chances in their world view ... Ultimately that is their loss ... particularly when they operate in a place of faith where these concepts are so central to all we do and all we are ... if we can't live grace, forgiveness and second chances with others, how can we even make the claim that we are people of faith???

At the end of the day though, the wisdom of others has spoken to me ... I have found many in the blog-world that I lurk within, who have become friends who counsel, challenge and comfort me in the transformative journey I have been on ... My learnings lately have come thick and fast because thanks to my time at South Down I've begun to get to the bottom of what's happening within me ... I have finally gotten to the heart of what has bedevilled me for far too long ...

To that end, as a way of saying thanks, and offering a nod to the wisdom of others, I offer two wonderful quotations that have spoken to the heart of what I'm struggling with right now ... Both were offered by friends I've met online and who have touched my heart and my soul ... My life is richer for their presence ... I've been offered a pathway to a higher and better place in my life and my soul ... and for that I'm very grateful!!

The first quotation comes from email I've received from the creator of the Laughing Pastor, who like me, has found Friedman's Book "Generation to Generation" an invaluable tome for ministry ... The second comes from an entry posted by Katie over at "At the Half Note." Both come from very different places, but both speak to my soul and offer wisdom and guidance I NEED to hear ... Thanks my friends - I'm blessed to have you in my life ...

Quotation ONE:

"We can only change a relationship to which we belong. Therefore, the way to bring change to the relationship of two others is to try to maintain a well-defined relationship with each, and to avoid the responsibility for their relationship with one another. To the extent we can maintain a "nonanxious presence" in a triangle, such a stance has the potential to modify anxiety in others. The problem is to be both non anxious and present. Anyone can keep his or her own anxiety down by distancing, but that usually preserves the triangle."
(page 39 - Generation to Generation)

Quotation TWO:

"... Letting someone "off the hook" on a promise or commitment made to you may look like it will hurt you in the short run, but it will never damage you in the long run, because when you give the other person their freedom, you give yourself freedom as well. And so now you are free of the agonies and sorrows, the attacks on your dignity and your self-worth that inevitably follow when you force another person to keep a promise to you that he or she does not want to keep. The longer damage will far outweigh the shorter-- as nearly everyone who has tried to hold another person to their word has discovered."
(From "Conversations With God.")

With friends offering wisdom like this ... life is good !!!

3 comments:

Jaydee said...

You wrote:
"The hardest part for me right now though, is the knowledge that for some it doesn't matter what I learn about myself, or what I discover ... they've made their minds up and there is no room for grace, forgiveness or second chances in their world view ...

Ultimately that is their loss ... particularly when they operate in a place of faith where these concepts are so central to all we do and all we are ...
----------------------------------
if we can't live grace, forgiveness and second chances with others, how can we even make the claim that we are people of faith???"
-----------------------------------
This was an interesting part of your blog entry, especially the last sentence of what I've quoted. There are others who share this sentiment and ask the same question of themselves and others.

As a person of faith, do you offer grace, forgiveness and second chances? I know from personal experience that I've offered such, and at various stages of my life hoped to receive the same... The unfortunate part, is that although it looks and sounds good and seems to make sense, it just all to often doesn't happen; and that is a very sad and painful experience.

Thanks for sharing your words, I'm sincerely happy for you that you have two such wonderful friends, you are blessed.

j

shawn said...

You raise a good point ... one I'm not prepared to argue right now ...

What I will offer is simply this ... grace, forgiveness and second chances flow freely when there is a tangible proof of the restoration of trust ...

Too often words like "I'm sorry" are spoken, and no change is noted and the hurtful action that necessitated the words in the first place continue ... and sometimes the words are hay-wired by the actions of others ...

It's a tough place to be, but ultimately we can ONLY care for ourselves ... it might be selfish ... but necessary.

Jaydee said...

I wasn't looking for an arguement..
I was simply making a comment, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to do that.