Saturday, September 19, 2009

An Interesting Epiphany: Thank You to Everyone Who Has Commented on My Blog

As I reflected on the comments about my last post (Spiritual Growth Is Not Automatic, Natural or Painless), something registered that I want to share - but it is something that I have struggled to find a way to say correctly. I want to start by quoting from the comments on that post - with a sincere, heartfelt thanks to each of you who helped me understand this month's resolution and the epiphany I want to share. I hope it will be phrased in such a way that it will be of benefit to those who read it.

In order of comment, Anonymous wrote:

I've had times in my life when to my surprise I find myself dealing with circumstances better than I may have anticipated, given my track record. Then I realize that on reflection, I have been working on it for a long time - often, such a long time that the stages in the growth process have crept up on me.

Ryan wrote:

Of course, there are those days where the kid had a growth spurt in the night and really is measurably taller in the morning than when she went to bed... but most of the accumulated height comes imperceptibly.

Tatiana wrote:

Looking at it that way, it might be that we make more progress than we realize.

Finally, my sweetheart said:

I love the scriptures that say, "Be still and know that I am God."

Now the epiphany:

I have been working on this one resolution for nearly two years - and the monthly resolutions for the rest of this year are about "refocusing" on things from the past 21 months. I have had months when the things I have learned have been more dramatic than other months, but I have had 20 months of wonderful experiences - wonderful insights as a result of my focus, but also wonderful insights as a result of those who have read these posts and taken the time to comment on them.

This resolution has extended to the point that I now am working on a sort of summary resolution this month - and my epiphany is that my specific resolution for this month ("seeking for and doing the will of the Father") is, at the meta-level, precisely what my focus has been throughout the entire time I have been pursuing the New Year's Resolution I laid out at the beginning of January 2008. If the Father's and Son's work and glory is to nurture us to become "at-one" with them ("Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."), then seeking to become more like Jesus is precisely "the will of the Father" - and, in seeking to become like Them, step-by-step, line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept, I have been seeking to do their will.

Truly, it's not the little steps along the way that are most important (as vitally important as they are along the way), but rather it's the vistas that unfold at moments like this - when I can pause ("be still"), look back on the last 21 months and realize how wonderful the journey has been and how much I am looking forward to the continuation of the slow, steady change that occurs inside when I try consciously and intentionally to become what I was created to become - to fill the measure of my own personal creation. However, those vistas never will be possible without the steps that are taken to arrive at them.

Spiritual growth truly can be realized fully only in hindsight, which is why we believe so passionately in enduring to the end - with "the end" meaning nothing more than completion, wholeness and full development. In other words, we must continue to strive until we have become "therefore" (in that manner) perfect (complete, whole, fully developed), even as our Father who art in heaven and His son are perfect.

My resolutions for the rest of this year will remain the same, and I will re-evaluate at the end of the year how to organize my focus for next year. There are more vistas to experience, and I look forward to the help I will receive along the way.

Again, thank you to everyone who has contributed to this moment for me. I appreciate it deeply.


The Faithful Dissident said...

"..."the end" meaning nothing more than completion, wholeness and full development."

That's really good. So many times we just think of "the end" in terms of death. I'd never really thought about it in the way that you put it.

Anonymous said...

The dynamic here is stunning.It has prompted conversations in our family that would not have otherwise taken place,and enabled us to engage in a dialogue that has been waiting for a language and a forum.How marvelous to work together.God's work is great.