Pity me that the heart
is slow to learn
what the swift mind
beholds at every turn
– Edna St. Vincent Milay
When you’re looking at the world and all its traffic racing past you every day, how do you tend to see things? What shapes your “definition of the situation” as you navigate through all of those opportunities and obstacles? What do you see when you get a glance of that mirror deep in your own heart? Is this who you thought you were going to be at this point in your life?
At the end of the day, are you being transformed – even your perceptions and all that excess baggage buried deep in the basement?
Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! – Matthew 6:22-23
One clue to the state of your transformation is your eyesight. Our perception of reality is connected to how we think and feel. Attitudes shape perceptions. Perceptions shape attitudes. It’s usually easy to figure out how someone sees and thinks by listening to what comes out of their mouth. Have you spent much time listening to yourself lately? Real transformation effects the whole you.
…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. – Romans 12:2
I thought I would get there one day. That I’d finally cross all the bridges and arrive in that vast field of dreams. I’d be there having learned the hard lessons and would be wise. What a bitter revelation now, to see that field so very far away, almost beyond reach. Transformation never stops, it keeps on working, rooting out all the stubborn holdouts that cling to this life. I guess it’s a good sign, that this essential work is still happening in my hardheaded soul. But of course, my pride is bruised and my ego is not a happy camper. I still need to be saved, just about every single day, usually from myself.
“Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone.” ― Thomas Merton