It’s Not About Me

I have gathered just a few articles of interest which have become great inspiration to me personally. I hope that by sharing them their insight will reach far beyond my individual aspirations, because, as a child of God, I am continually reminded that it’s not about me.

About three years ago, I wrote this scripture on a note card and taped it to the steering wheel of my vehicle, where it remained for the better part of a year.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

Many of us become trapped in the self-destructive, misinformed philosophy of ‘what we have always known is what will always be,’ as if we have no say in the matter whatsoever. Granted, our individual past is our individual history and it will always be a part of who we are, but what we have always known is not necessarily what will always be. We do have a choice, and I must say that it is this choice or more accurately a succession of choices made throughout our lives which will determine our future. Our past is merely a springboard. Whether we want to believe it or not, where we become ‘sprung’ so to speak is up to each individual one of us, and I believe we will be held accountable for it in the end. I am so thankful to God that our past of its own accord will not determine our future. God is able to make all things new, including our lives, and not only is He able, but He is ready and waiting to do so.

Self-Reliance 1841

I read the other day some verses written by an eminent painter which were original and not conventional. The soul always hears an admonition in such lines, let the subject be what it may. The sentiment they instill is of more value than any thought they may contain. To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men,--that is genius. Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost, and our first thought is rendered back to us by the trumpets of the Last Judgment. Familiar as the voice of the mind is to each, the highest merit we ascribe to Moses, Plato and Milton is that they set at naught books and traditions, and spoke not what men, but what they thought. A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the luster of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. Great works of art have no more affecting lesson for us than this. They teach us to abide by our spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility then most when the whole cry of voices is on the other side. Else to-morrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882

I first read this essay in a college English course and I have never forgotten it, particularly the last sentence in the above paragraph. The validity of that statement both astounds and baffles me, it renders one a bit unsettled, even in recognizing its solemn truth. I often wonder at exactly what point it is, on any given subject, that we stop seeking our own ideas. The well established opinion of another is difficult to move beyond, and while true self expression offers its own benefit it also requires a substantial risk. It is my hope that my life, my words and foremost what occupies my mind will originate predominantly from within me, as I do not wish to find myself at the end of my days and discover that it has not been my own voice which has governed all my ways, but instead the voice of another. For that reason, I find the words of Emerson to be an enormous source of encouragement.

Fly Away Home
Columbia Pictures, 1996

For anyone who enjoys the simple beauty of humanity entwined with nature, this film, staring Anna Paquin and Jeff Daniels, is a shining example of this enchantment. After the tragic loss of her mother, a child is unavoidably reunited with her previously estranged father, eventually finding solace in the act of caring for an orphaned flock of geese. As the goslings grow and mature, it mirrors the relationship of the child and her father, and eventually they must work together to bring completion to the care of the geese as they lead them south, flying with them. The cinematography alone is awe inspiring. This film gives light to the often unrealized ability of an animal to rekindle lost feeling in a human heart, ultimately offering comfort and healing to the wounded soul.

-Saraiah Faith Gracie

Web Site of Author Saraiah Faith Gracie, Copyright 2011