Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Lost Among Us

In my current home, Portland, Oregon, there are many cars with this bumper sticker:


“Not All Who Wander Are Lost”.

Personally, I like the idea tremendously. Sometimes I ‘wander’ while I wait for the next meeting or appointment to come. Other times I ‘wander’ in the city to see where I end-up, maybe find a new restaurant, see a different building design, or discover a new park to visit. There is also a “walk-about” from the 1980’s hit movie - “Crocodile Dundee”. The main character would go for a log walk, with no specific destination in mind, but the intention is to learn about himself along the way. I like to think he gains focus on his own life while allowing the worthless things to slide away from view. Perhaps this could even be described as a “spirit-walk”, described in manifold books and movies as a person’s own journey to find answers to their life for themselves.

Have you ever done this? I have. On more than on occasion. Once I even fasted(no food) four days during the experience. The biggest difference though was that I was never completely alone. Now I do not mean anyone else accompanied me, nor am I trying to say that God was walking beside me, although much of the time I do believe He was there. No - the parts of me that I can never let go of completely, my memories, those were my company during the journey.

“Everybody needs his memories.

They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door”

- Saul Bellow

One idea here: what we focus our thoughts on, and more specifically our memories, can determine the health of our mind, body, and spirit, including our future.

So what do you “fill yourself” with now?








These are the same thoughts and memories you will be fueled from in the months and years to come.

Here is a comparative concept: our friends. If they are abusive of their children, then we will be more likely to become the same with our own children as we expose ourselves to their actions. If they use foul language, steal, rape, set things on fire “for fun”, we will find ourselves thinking on these things more often because other, more healthy thoughts, will be displaced from our mind as we focus on these more.

When I have gone on a journey of “self-discovery”, I have felt a wide array of emotions, ranging from anger, disgust, envy, pride, lust, fear, fatigue, and sadness, to joy, love, peace, energy, and purpose. And yes, ‘purpose’ can give us an emotional feeling that drives us into a new vision for our lives. The resulting energy and focus can fuel a new hunger for life!

As my ‘journey’ often goes, the first thing I do is a memory recall, and then I attempt a ‘dump’. I find the things that I want to remember no longer, the painful times that I cannot change. This can be anything; hurtful words from a loved-one, to physical pain and distress. But the result is the same: to hold-on to them any longer does me no good. I try to learn whatever I can, praying about the situation and people involved, and then I let them go as far as possible. The second thing is I pull out the thoughts from my past that brought the most joy, and I sit with them, for as long as possible. Then I pray about those involved, and try to learn from the experience again. After this, I can focus more on creating a new future.

Another idea here: Do the thoughts of your past leave you lost, unhappy, and unable to focus on creating a new future for yourself? What thoughts and memories do you carry around with you? For that matter, who do you surround yourself with??

If you want a new life, find new people. Open yourself to new opportunities for creating new experiences and memories. Let someone show you how to give yourself a new identity, or even a small area that has a little hope for something better than you have now. This can come from embracing Christ, and it can be built on the new life situations you encounter.

  • Add your name to a prayer list so someone can pray for you, or better yet, be willing to pray for someone - for one week, each day.

  • Learn to love wisdom, and the seeking of it in your own life.

  • Move. Don’t sit still. Be willing to try new things with greater potential for joy and move further along in your life, beyond your current level of development and health.

Wandering isn’t a problem if you know where you come from, and when you can find joy and health in the memories that brought you this far!

Who we surround ourselves with

can determine our outcome,

and final destination here on earth.

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