…the thing after the thing…

A few brief thoughts for a rainy Monday morning:

The laws of life, like the laws of physics, include the profound idea that for everything we do there is a result. No activity exists in a vacuum. No decision is made without setting into motion a whole cavalcade of implications in its aftermath. You could say that “where there is ____________ there will be  _____________”.

But that isn’t all there is to this simple idea. The thing that strikes me, the older I get, is that the initial results from my decisions and actions are not always the ultimate results. In fact, there seems to be a multi-layered reality to the decisions I make. There is the immediate implication, and then there is a different outcome entirely that emerges later on. What I wonder is if my problem is not that I don’t think through the implications of my decisions, at times, but I only think through the first layer. The ultimate ramifications of my choices may be, and often are, very different than the results that are immediately precipitated.

I hope, and I pray, that as I grow in maturity and wisdom that I will begin to see not just “the thing”, but to see “the thing after the thing”. Because it seems that “the thing” can give us a false security and a temporary peace, but when we can see “the thing after the thing” we can be more certain that our foundation will not cave in beneath us after a brief stint of stability.

  • where there is no dedication to perpetual change and growth there is not changelessness, there is hopelessness…
  • where there is a failure to see the gifts that are all around us there is not ingratitude, there is stagnancy…
  • where there is a loss of respect for the enemies without and within there is not arrogance, there is defeat…
  • where there is an abundance of effort motivated solely by compulsion there is not success, there is exhaustion…
  • where there is group of people without leadership there is not foolishness and capriciousness, there is waste and regret…
  • where there is doubt brought about because full understanding is required there is not lack of faith, there is loss of adventure…
  • where there is doubt brought about by questions and confusion there is not lack of faith, there is evidence of wisdom…
  • where there is a group without friendship there is not social discomfort, there is spiritual loneliness…
  • where there is honest frustration with the way of the world there is not pessimism, there is evidence of the Spirit of God…
  • where there is unforgiveness in the face of suffering there is not passionate hatred, there is the freezing of men’s hearts…

May we learn to instinctively see “the thing behind the thing”, that we might not  over-confidently stand on plastic foundations and gelatin dreams.

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