Recapping Refocused Perspectives 

Well not only have we transcended another week, we also found ourselves falling into a new season. With change always remaining constant, let’s take a moment to pause and reflect upon the week that was here on “Becoming Today”.

The week began as I recall at least on a Monday, as it seems to do 52 times a year. Anyway this week also started off with us wrapping up our review of some “conversations” I shared with the Apostle Paul. 

Yes shared in this case is a synonym for imagined, however as we talked about last week in 21st Century Epistle, I was thinking about how Paul might share his message if he were here with us today.

The final chapter, so far at least, you never know when he may reach out again, was called,  “Refocusing: In Harmony”. As he often was, we find Paul doing time. Locked up for crimes he did and did not commit, still he was never truly imprisoned. His spirit was high, and he focused on doing his work from inside.

This week, my imagination shifted me to discussing what some define as “Final Exhortations”, or “Living in Harmony with One Another”. Our conversation was centered around Phillipians 4:4-9,  a very short but extremely insightful teaching about coming together to support and love one another. Hmm, funny how our conversation also somehow reminds me of a song….

On Tuesday,  I had to share some “Differing Perspectives”, as yes I once again have some words stuck in my head.

Three simple words that I can not recall the last time I heard anyone utter in this particular order. 

A simple yet insightful phrase. Fifteen letters separated by two spaces that are so needed right now.

Yes, those words offer us the opportunity to come to see differing perspectives. These words are: “Agree to Disagree”.

Once commonplace in our speech, I really can not remember the last time I heard this phrase used, other than by the voices in my head. And we need the wisdom contained in the statement.

So how can we get to this place of being able to ‘Agree to Disagree’? First we need to have a common understanding of what the phrase means.

Therefore I offer this definition of ‘Agree to Disagree’:

“After serious consideration, discussion and  evidence considered, we at this time are unable to reach an accord that suits our mutual needs to progress with compassion, dignity and respect. Seeking to ensure an atmosphere of allowing for the acceptance of all party’s certain inalienable rights, including, but not limited to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at this time we are choosing to calmly set the issue aside for a future conversation.”

There is nothing wrong with taking a pause, for any cause. To allow cooler heads, more diverse input or new evidence to come to light.

Then reconvening with an attitude based in peace and seeking common understanding consent to taking another opportunity to come together to quite possibly- agree to agree.

Wednesday we continued our epic midweek adventure with our ongoing odyssey here along our shared path. Undertaking our search and rescue mission for wisdom, this week, “Control Yourself” , focused on Proverbs Chapter 25.

Really I’m kind of surprised we haven’t spent more time talking about the many ways self control is both important and very wise. 

So as we readied ourselves  to exercise some restraint and moderation pressing ahead we discussed why the second part of the chapter is so important, it appears under the sub-heading, “Wisdom Practices Self-Control”.

So what exactly do we mean by self control? You can share your definitions below as we’ll begin to formulate a common understanding. 

The dictionary offers this explanation: “the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations’.

Psychologists define it as, the ability to manage one’s impulses, emotions, and behaviors to achieve long-term goals, and Psychology Today adds it is quote, “what separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom”.

Hmm…so busy trying to figure out how their own minds work, or don’t; I guess they haven’t spent much time with animals.

Many animals, birds and even insects not only exhibit self control, but also even in the tiniest of cases like bees and ants, they live their lives with motivation, determination and patience. Even exhibiting a willingness to be of service for the good of the colony…. We need more people like that.

Anyway self-control as we look at will include parts of both definitions plus more.

Let’s agree to accept self control as the ability to maintain balance of our emotions, impulses, thoughts and behaviors in such a manner that serves not only ourselves but the interests of all involved while maintaining an attitude of moderation while doing it. 

Verse 15 notes, “Use patience and kindness when you want to persuade leaders and watch them change their minds right in front of you. For your gentle wisdom will quell the strongest resistance”.

It does not say to yell, scream, refuse to listen, point fingers or chant our side is right, na- na hey hey!

Exercising our virtues can truly effect change. Being kind, compassionate, respectful when dealing with others and patiently listening is the best way to have a conversation, not coming in with pre-planned attack points that you’ve emailed to 400 people and ordering them to repeat word for word. 

Always approach dealings with integrity, and you will see results that are mutually beneficial and right. 

Thursday brought us to a new season. Literally. In “Falling For Change”, we noted the autumnal equinox . A day I quipped could be perceived as when the darkness starts to win. 

I’m not giving that deep meaning, rather I giggle asI type it, because it’s the day when we start to have less illumination in our day – for the next three months, the number of hours of daylight will continue to grow shorter. 

Do not despair, it’s not all about darkness in growing cycles, Autumn gives us ripeness and maturity. The harvest season is associated with abundance, prosperity, wealth and maturity.

It’s part of our circle of life, the Sacred Hoop, another revolution along our shared path that if we choose to allow it can be a time of learning, growth and further development.

In the Scriptures,  the passage often referred to as “A Time For Everything”, outlines the many changing seasons we all experience in life. It outlines the constant cycle of “Becoming”. In fact 28 specific times or seasons are mentioned  in this one passage. 

Plus we’ll  take note that not included in those examples is a very important aspect;  none of the 28 mention a time to quit.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, is perhaps so revered and often quoted because of its poetic approach towards life. It balances 14 distinct elements we all experience at one time or another, and some more than once. It reinforces our constant state of Always Being “Becoming”.  

It teaches and reminds us that life is a mix of joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, harmony and struggle, and life and death. Each season has its appropriate time. 

Some are difficult, and still we know that we must never give up and continue on in Faith, trusting in God, believing his plans for us are always based upon  good purposes and joyful outcomes. 

Included among the lessons learned in studying these verses is that we  are to accept each day as a gift from the hand of God because He has a reason and a time for all things. 

There is much wisdom to be gained in understanding this concept of 

“There is a time for everything, / and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

When we live our lives in faith we are “Becoming” our destinies as we comprehend and embrace the power in always trusting God. Our lives truly reveal their meaning and purpose when we rely on His wisdom, timing and goodness.

Yesterday we focused on an idea that is good for all seasons, “Authentic Living”. 

Like many, for years I viewed it as a destination. “Well I get there.” Thought “maybe, someday”. But we all know “Someday Never Comes”.

It was only when I realized how true that was that I knew I needed to make this a turning point day and get it in gear. Coincidentally ( and I know there is no such thing as coincidence, lol ), I came across some old dog eared notes about 15 steps to living a truly authentic life. Now I  have no idea where I originally came across these, as I’ve carried them around for so long, they are written  on a steno pad!

I then decided to undertake a 16 – day study and contemplation. One day for each of the suggested steps on this path and then one more for review and analysis.

You can review all the steps in the original post, and consider your own journey. As for mine the process led me to celebrate Life.  Live it.l Feel it. Be it. Honor yourself by living every day to the fullest.

That is what I am “Becoming”. A liver of life. A lover of life. Every moment of every day I am grateful that I have been granted the abilities, understanding and gifts to live a truly authentic life.

It was only through conquering my fears and doubts, accepting help and challenges plus surrendering all that I could that I realized I am now and will continue to by living my truly authentic life. It’s all part of “Becoming” and has delivered me to a place where I can finally honestly, boldly proclaim:

“I love Life. I love the Lord. I love myself”.

I pray you can too.

I also hope you have a safe, relaxing weekend and then come Monday choose to join us again on our next edition of “Becoming Today”. 

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