Weed We Must, But Don't Forget to Water the Flowers

May 22, 2023

Don’t focus so intensely on your problems that you can’t see the solution.

A professor walked into class, and at arms length held up a cup and asked the students, "how heavy is this glass of water I'm holding?"

Shouts rang out from the crowd trying to gauge it's weight.

After a minute of guesses the professor said, "From my perspective, the absolute weight doesn't really matter that much. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute it barely registers as heavy. If I held it out straight for 10 minutes it would become difficult and very uncomfortable. After an hour it would be all I could do to keep it steady and push through the pain. If I tried to hold it all day I would eventually, painfully cramp up, my arm would become numb and paralyzed and force me to drop the glass, shattering it on the floor. In each case, the weight never changes... But the longer I hold it, the heavier it gets."

There is no arguing that everyone will experience hard things in life. Confusing, embarrassing, painful experiences are universally experienced by the human family.

There is a time to every season, and sometimes it's necessary and healthy to rest or grieve.

But our preoccupation with staring in the rear view mirror is a terrible way to safely drive to where we want to go.

Weeding the garden of our life is a necessity. (One that will never go away in fact.) But do not mistake ripping out the weeds for growing healthy and happy vegetables.

You can't have everything. To choose one option means to forgo another. But I do believe that you can have most of the things your true hearts desires.

But it requires changing the way you look at the world, others and yourself. It requires humility to let go of the perceptions, thoughts, and identities that got you here. It requires courage, effort and persistence to do the things that will take you there.

The change comes first from within, which then changes everything else. Your currently circumstances may not be your fault, but if it's ever going to change, you have to make it your responsibility. 

I'm just starting to really grasp this truth. It's one that has been there for a while. Hanging just out of view or out of grasp. I get glimpses and or an occasional finger or two, but somehow it's eluded me thousands of times...

And you know what? I'm okay with that now. Somehow as I've learned to give myself and others grace, I'm now better able to see things as they really are.

I now believe that if I can change the way I see the world, everything will suddenly be different. My attitudes, my emotions, my actions and reactions, my relationships and my very circumstances. All can be changed if I can learn to change myself. New labels, new identities, new beliefs all resulting in radically different actions and outcomes.

I don't think it will be easy. But I do think it's possible for anyone who wants it bad enough.

Bad enough to do whatever it takes to keep going. Bad enough to humble ourselves to accept correction, and learn wisdom, to learn truth. Bad enough to get back up when we fail and fall down. To try again in the morning even when we fell asleep exhausted, on our knees, in the darkness of night. Bad enough to forgive ourselves when we've fallen and failed again and again and again.

I don't want to work and sweat and simply become the fastest caterpillar. I want to transform into something different. Something that isn't stuck in the dirt anymore.

I want more.

You want more.

I don't know perfectly the sacrifices it will require and the paths you must follow to take you there. But I believe it's possible. With God helping and cheering you on every step of the way, I believe you can become the person you want to be. With practice and effort I believe you can become the person you choose to be.

Let the hurts go. Focus on building the new. We can do it together.


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