Seeing The Beginning For The First Time



It doesn't take much to send me off on a tangent of imagination, memory, or both.  I've always been that way.  I can get sidetracked easier than a puppy, or an eight-year-old kid in an arcade. 

This was the word I saw the most on the progress reports of my grade school years:  

"Daydreamer."  

Before there was a widespread understanding in the fields of education as to different learning abilities, kids generally were affixed with a label and deemed to be an annoyance. 

To be fair, there were good teachers, though.  There were teachers who got it.  God bless them for being kind and doing the best they could to help me learn how I needed to learn. 

When I was a kid, I didn't understand how to harness the energy and the voices in my head to do whatever it took to excel.  That knowledge came later when I was in high school, and I learned to use it to my advantage. 

I can get some stuff done if it needs doing. In fact, I  often measure the quality of my day by how much stuff I manage to get done before falling into bed at the end of the evening. 

And yet, I can also lose an entire afternoon thinking about a poem, or chasing a sermon illustration idea on the internet.  

It's not uncommon for me to be in the middle of writing a Devo, and then start thinking about an email I need to send, which leads to another email, a few texts, and then inexplicably to Tik Tok.  

I am beginning to believe that the fact that I'm wired the way I am is a gift from God, and not a curse, which is what I always believed it to be, growing up.  

I'm also seeing more and more of myself in my youngest son, who seems to be struggling with the same kinds of things.   

This helps me to know that as he looks around at all of the ways the world is wonderful and awful, he is captivated by it all.  There is an endless stream of beauty, ugliness, joy and sorrow, triumph and tragedy unfolding around him, and he gets lost in it sometimes. 

I do, too.  

When I get to pondering things, I often find myself spinning in circles more often than not---ending up where I began the whole process but then seeing the beginning in entirely new ways.  

And there are phrases that my mind whispers to me in those moments, like "Don't you wish...?"  "There's a new way..." "That's different..."  

The fact that not everyone has those kinds of whispers in their ear is not lost on me.  It's kind of a superpower for those of us who hear them---at least the good whispers that keep the door of hope-filled imagination open.  

There is this line from a poem by T.S. Eliot that speaks to this for me in an amazing way: 

With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. 

If you find yourself thinking about the world, your faith, or God in ways that seem to lead you in a circle, don't despair.  You are right where you need to be.  Just shift your perspective a bit, and see the beginning from a different angle.  

And if you are the kind of person who has always felt ashamed of having scattered thoughts, don't be.  God wired you differently for a reason.  Share your gifts, and let the world know there's more to everything than meets the eye.  

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 

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