Instead of writing my paper, or studying statistics, or reading my never-ending homework chapters, I took a moment to ponder what possible insight I could glean from the writings of Gilbert Keith Chesterton. In his piece called Enjoying the Floods and Other Disasters (July 21, 1906 Illustrated London News), he mused that he had missed the flooding of London for his trip to the country and rambled on of all the inconveniences one faces which can be joyful in some aspect. He wrote of some of these, such as waiting for a train and grumbling while a child sees the station as a vast play land filled with immense discoveries yet to come; and, chasing a hat on a windy day as such an unpleasantry (I know that's not a word, but it should be), and yet one could chase a leather ball and be applauded. (This is paraphrased of course and I am sure I have all but butchered his eloquent thought process.) He sums it all up by saying that inconveniences, whatever they may be, should carry within us some form of poetic enjoyment. This was pulled together to call attention to the importance of guidance as a spiritual discipline. While I was delighted to read this article in all of its romantic illusions of seemingly disastrous events; I still sat back and wondered what in the world does any of this have to do with guidance as a spiritual discipline. Then it hit me...
I used to look at guidance as having someone there for me to consult with; someone who actually knows what I am attempting to accomplish in the future so that if/when I unknowingly diverge, I can be lead back not too much worse for the wear. :) While I don't believe I am too far off, I think I will add to my thought process. I can see guidance now as also a way of seeing things that aren't focus driven, but rather "now" focused - if you will. Today is a day rushed with goals to accomplish and eyes so set on the results, or the proverbial "bottom line," that we fly by (at hyper-speed I might add) the beauty of the day, the wonder that God places right before our very eyes. A.W. Tozer said "In the deep heart of the man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to come. Within him was God; without, a thousand gifts which God had showered upon him" (The Pursuit of God: The Blessedness of Possessing Nothing).
I am of the opinion that to deeply pursue the things we desire without looking around and taking note of the "gifts" the Lord has given to us, is to endure the race with all self-sufficiency - self propelled - and selfishly, not trusting in or being guided by the One who gives us life, passion, and the drive to press toward that goal.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained." (Phil 3:12-16)
I am not thrilled about clichés, but stop and smell the flowers along the way - they were a gift to make the journey far more pleasurable than rushed. Who is in a hurry anyway...God will complete his purpose any way He chooses, so I will choose to be guided by Him and find the wonder again in all the gifts He so freely gives me.
ps...if you choose to do the same, don't forget to give thanks. He is above and beyond worthy of it. :D