In the September 2017 Just Thinking, @Jill_Carattini offers a moving reflection on the process of growth. Called “Soaring Journeys”, her essay is wrapped around a recounting of the “first nonstop flight around the world in a balloon.” What an amazing 19 days that must have been!
Here are two quotes from the article that stood out to me:
What if every pang of trust or mistrust, every cry for autonomy or cry of shame, was the call of the human spirit to that which is beyond it? What if our cries over mistrust or longings for trust exist explicitly because there is one who is trustworthy? Psychology and theology professor James Loder offers this perspective explicitly: “It is evident that human development is not the answer to anything of ultimate significance. Every answer it does provide only pushes the issue deeper, back to the ultimate question, ‘What is a lifetime?’ and ‘Why do I live it?’”1
Whether our days are marked by victory or by crisis, by progress or the call to turn around and try again, the Spirit goes with us, reinforcing that God has been there all along. To discover that there is a face inherently present behind many of the failures we long to forget, a Spirit within our celebrations of success, and a voice that speaks over and above all that has indelibly marked our journeys, is to experience the restorative hope and joy of the Creator who intended us to discover Him all along.
These are encouraging words! As I read the news and observe the world, it seems that we are all very focused on progress, success, achievement, accomplishment, and getting ahead. It is an incredible pressure to place on limited, half-hearted, often distracted human beings. What a different perspective: to see the work of the Spirit as primary and fundamental.
Some questions that come to mind:
- How are you experiencing “the restorative hope and joy of the Creator” today?
- Why did God put you here? Is your life oriented around his assignments for your life?
- How can you look for and notice the work of the Spirit in another person’s life? Let them know that you see this in their lives - it may be a tremendous encouragement for them.