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Sunday, 1 March 2009

relearning the lesson

How many times do you have to learn the same lesson? What does it take for the knowledge to become soul deep? I was thinking, as we drove back from celebrating a friend’s birthday last night, that so often I come back to the same things I have been reminded of time and time again. As if they don’t stick. Or perhaps, I simply don’t grip them hard enough.

So often I become so enmeshed in my limitations, that I forget to do what I can, instead merely focusing on the things I cannot. If it sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve said it before. Because I’ve learnt it before, realised it before – and yet how long before it starts to form me, rather than just inform me? There are so many tiny pieces of encouragement I could give others day by day, and yet so often I miss them. I have moments of pure frustration at the limitations put upon me, and then forget to notice what the limitations allow me to do. There is always something you can do. Wasn’t that my catchphrase – what inspired Fragile World to come into being in the first place?

Yet so often my memory slips and I forget. Yes, I forget what I went upstairs for, I forget what I was going to write down to remind myself to do, all symptomatic of the Fatigue I know – but I also forget to do what I can, my motivation and inspiration sliding down into a heap of lumpy nothingness. My brain turns to gloop and so does my drive to do the one thing I can do – whatever that may be today.

How often do I neglect to send a card to someone who is sick or struggling? I may not be able to write a letter but I could write a short note. Do I fear to commit more of myself than I am able and therefore give nothing? I’m pretty sure that’s not the way to live a life. How often do we become so engrossed in merely getting through the stubborn days that we forget there are those struggling far more than we are?

So perhaps it should become more pointed, more focused. Not merely a motto hovering at the back of a mind but a decision to ask a question. What one thing can I do today? This week? This month? Time moves so relentlessly and opportunities slip through our fingers. It is distressing when we see it happen – but think of all the times we did not see, because we did not notice. Because we were not even looking.

Have you ever been in a situation where you wished someone, just anyone, would notice you and how you were feeling? And yet – so often there are those who wish that we would notice. In an individualistic society we can become so engrossed in ourselves that there are only rights, and no responsibility. And yet it seems to me that unless we have some responsibility for how we treat one another, no one will get their ‘rights’ because we are all out for ourselves. Sacrifice has become a dirty word.

There is always something you can do.

Yes. But it needs to be taken further.

What is the one thing I can do – today?

4 comments:

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Great thoughts. I do try to avoid going around the same mountain, but once in a while I take an extra trip. Learn the same thing twice.

Nicole O'Dell said...

What a great reminder!

I was just saying some of this to my hubby about marriage. How if we are "individualistic" we will be at odds. We should be putting the other one first and, if we both do that, it's a perfect balance.

Thanks!

Kristin said...

Lucy,

I love this post. I am so guilty of not doing things because I can't do them perfect. So instead of at least doing something, I will do absolutely nothing. Nothing good can come from doing nothing at all! Thank you for reminding me of this lesson.

Kristin

angeljoy said...

Often, I'm so busy in my whirlwind of life that I don't do that one thing. But that's no excuse, because most of my busyness is self-inflicted--as in, I make myself busier than I need to be. Focusing on others is always a challenge.

"The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."- Richard Foster