I have a limited number of conversations that are in an extended loop. Every so often, weeks in one case, months in others, we go back to the same subject with a slight variation on the conversation we have had multiple times before.
In one case, my conversation partner is worried. He does not want to be like the others. Being caught in something you recognized is discouraging. One knows s/he could, should break the cycle. Despite best efforts, discipline, and a wide range of techniques, nothing materially changes.
I look in the mirror and realize that I do not want to be that person. I want desperately to grow beyond what I am today. I do not want to sit passively, as I did last night, when I received an email condemning another’s place of worship. I do not want to ignore, as I did just days ago, when another asked for help. Complacency should never be comfortable, especially if it is routine.
A writer’s reference reminds me of a truism that benchmarks the change in my life. “If we claim that we experience a shared life with him [Divinity] and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim.” (1 John 1.6)
There is reason for hope.
Acknowledging one’s fear is a step to understanding the present. It is in the present that one has the opportunity to take a step towards a better future.
Seeing the future, honestly and transparently for what it is, can be painful, however it is a place where change begins. It is only in change that we move towards a place better than where we are.
Change comes through the effort of taking a single step. We will not arrive at our destination (goal) in this step. It is the first of many that we will take. We will begin. It is in that birth that a difference is realized.
I listened to myself today and heard an echo. I took a step forward and the echo faded.