As many of us do at the end of each year, I have been looking back over the past year to consider where I was a year ago, what has impacted me, and what direction I want to take. Although I may not be exactly where I had hoped to be at this time last year, I am grateful for the things I have accomplished and experienced and have learned along the way.
One of the best quotes on the subject of change I have come across this year is this:
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” —Socrates, a character in Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives by Dan Millman
One of the things I feel really good about accomplishing is something I had wanted to do for years. In May of this year, I started a series on my blog called ‘Wisdom Wednesday’. Not only has it helped me deepen my understanding and added to my collection of wisdom, but it seems to have been a blessing to others as well.
There is one thing I haven’t yet solidified. When we pay attention and look for ways to overcome obstacles in this journey through life, sometimes we’ll come across stepping stones or bridges to help us navigate through rough or uncertain places. Max Tardie said, “A stepping stone will do no good if you decide to stand on it.” In some ways I feel like that’s what I’ve done in one or two areas of my life while trying to decide what to do. I don’t want to go back, but neither do I have any desire to remain standing on a stepping stone in the middle of a bog.
One of the things that made an impression on me this past year is a quote from the movie The Last Samurai.
“They are an intriguing people. From the moment they wake they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue. I have never seen such discipline. I am surprised to learn that the word Samurai means, ‘to serve’…” —Algren
Being sort of a ‘Jill-of-many-trades-and-master-of-none’, I tried to decide to which of my many interests I could devote myself in order to perfect it. I love photography, and although I have devoted a little more time to learning the craft and have changed direction a bit, I am far from mastering it. I also love typography and have played around with that a bit more as well in conjunction with photography. I have dabbled in making jewelry, learning to knit, I sometimes draw and paint, and, of course, I am a blogger, so I have tried to become a better writer, too. I also love Jesus and I want to be more like Him— loving, serving, winsome, meek, humble, wise, and faithful— so I have devoted time to studying the Bible, reading books, and listening to teachings, not to mention communing with Him as well. I am grateful for my daughter who has more opportunities to read and has recommended a few books, and I am grateful for all the personal and tangible ways in which He has communicated His love for me. I think, though, that striving to be more like Jesus is different than pursuing the perfection of a skill, a talent that He Himself has given, don’t you?
So here I am.
I feel like I’m standing on a stepping stone still trying to decide what to do. Should I continue to pursue photography and typography combining them, along with my pursuit of Jesus, with blogging? Or should I give up one in order to devote more time to another? I think I need to finish reading the book I’m currently reading called Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung.