I listened to two friends tell of their journeys. We wandered down and around the paths, exploring the impact on their life as well as their boys. As we traveled, I found myself walking along, sharing the ride. It was amazing how familiar the travel was and is. Life comes in many colors, textures, and flavors but the underlying experience is very similar. Heartache, pain, fears, doubts, and joy all mingle together in the dish we call life.
At times, I find myself looking for an original response. It is as if I believe that I need to confine and bind lessons from the past to history. Yet, my experience is a variation on what was before and I seem destined to repeat the same path without any benefit from listening and learning.
There is an alternative. “Good friend, follow your father's advice; don't wander off from your mother's teachings.” (Proverbs 6.20) Listen to the one who thought and cared for you before you were born. Listen to those who participated in your creation.
I find myself in trouble when I begin with the assumption that all advice must be original, that my own experiences are unique, and that every answer must come from my original thought. The god of self is alive and well in my life. I may mouth the words of worship to the external God of creation, mercy, and love, but I behave as if only human analysis will do.
God holds original answers, has adapted them to many a situation, and is intimately involved in human experiences. I doubt I understood the complete scene. I have little confidence that my answers were either complete or fully applicable. I offered, at best, a simple reflection of words God gives to all.
Today I sit at the source looking to understand what God would like to say to me in this moment. The exercise is one of patience, especially on God's part! The experience is always original and moves the participant in new directions. God invites you to come and sit with him.