From the Cabana in California you look out across the valley. On a clear day the mountains seem so close you feel as if you can reach out and touch them. From the rooftop on New York’s lower east side you have a clear view of midtown and the original city skyscrapers. On a clear night they seem as if they are within a run, skip, and a jump. The views are incredible, amazing, and awe inspiring – usually all at the same time. They’re also humbling.
I find myself seeing far more clearly than at any time in my life. I can see the past – great moments, incredible mistakes, and paths chosen for one reason or another. There are things I regret, almost always having to do with relationships and my carelessness. Yet in the main I find myself reflecting on the lessons life has retained for my use. I find the process of examination and reflection to be one full of hope and opportunity. There is much to be learned and applied in the moment I find myself in. I can acknowledged yesterday’s pain and do something about those within my reach now. Each memory carries a treasure – of a child’s unconditional love, of a lover’s gift, and of relationships which bore the fruits of compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.
As I, we, learn from yesterday I find myself patiently repeating a mantra of empowerment, purpose, and vision. “Gather up the testimony, preserve the teaching [of compassion, mercy and love] for my followers [friends and fellow believers of the teaching], while I wait for God as long as he remains in hiding, while I wait and hope for him. I stand my ground and hope, I and the children God gave me as signs to Israel, warning signs and hope signs from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who makes his home in Mount Zion.” (Isaiah 8.16-18)
There is much work in the present for each. Taking on life’s challenges will require patience and endurance. The battles we are in will be long, painful, and at times deadly. Courage my friend.
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