How easy it is to momentarily lose our own selves – to feel lost to what we want, know or think. This slope is a slippery one and far too difficult to climb back up the same way we slid down. Alternative routes have to be made, perhaps around the mountain step by step, trudging a track that circulates the mountain many times over before reaching the top, before reaching a higher height – but let’s not be disheartened – this I think may be a little part of being human, for all those I know and myself included, I have noticed – we don’t seem to go through life unscathed.
But awareness, awareness that we slipped – that is beautiful. We all slip. It’s all okay. Life has a way of throwing us around and pushing us about, there were no promises to life being one of ease. Sometimes we find ourselves back at the bottom, grazed knees and ripped clothes – our once perfect track record now come to a glorious halt, all at the bottom of the mountain again – perhaps a place a little uncomfortably familiar. But let’s not forget that the state of ruin is, and can still be glorious – just as glorious as the top but in a very different yet very valuable kind of a way – even in the moments we sit discouraged and crumpled up – in the rain and wind with a tired heart. The ruin holds great potential to respond to the invitation of grace again, to meet with the gaze of love again, for a beautiful new journey with a greater, wiser, calmer heart.
I don’t know the reasoning behind all the slips, some of which are outright unfair and cruel – but even in those we always hold hope! However, I sense that there are some that we can learn to avoid. Sometimes, we listen to the suggestions and ideas of all the little voices of the well-meaning creatures passing by, without first to what our heart already somewhere knows, that this track holds a certainty for us, and leads us forth and is a trustworthy way to head in order to climb higher. At times we can tend to let these voices hold a certain weight and urgency that they weren’t intended to hold – pressing us, urging us that if we take that shortcut, or walk their path, or their friends path – that we just might get to the top faster. So we gingerly begin to traverse this foreign steep rocky slope with a lot less confidence to the track we were just on, and before long we begin to slip and tumble. It wasn’t what was said that hurt us, it was having learnt to first deny the heart that did the damage.
Differing opinions will always chime in and out of our lives – they are meant to, in and of themselves they are not bad – and can bring clarity and hope and wisdom, and sometimes an alternative route, but if we listen to these voices beyond what we know and trust inside and from above, we shall find ourselves tossed about, choosing paths that veer from what our hearts know to be right and true, and weary from the laboured energies of standing on a foundation that wasn’t created for us to stand upon.
I think we sometimes lack a little trust; in ourselves and above – the track that so faithfully leads us, in our value, direction and identity as unique images and creations of the creator himself, in our ability to figure it out, even when the slips occur – whether we are at fault to it or not. Might it be that we are called out to walk and own our journey – our track round the ol’ mountain with a kind of panache, knowledge, perspective and beauty that no other soul knows how to do in the same way? I think it is key to neither stray so far from listening to others that we cannot learn or grow in wisdom – we are relatable beings after all, but also to not stray so far from the heart and soul, where a part of life itself gently dwells and whispers to us our ‘you-ness’ ………………………
“Start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” Hebrews 12:13 (MSG)