Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The magic, pain and wisdom of reflection


There is no wisdom without reflection. Deep thinking brings understanding and truth and yet we do it too seldom because it requires two commodities rare in our lives: silence and time alone. Precious space for our minds to be cleared of distractions. Without reflection we will not learn the lessons of our past, have wisdom for the present or chart a wise course for the future.

There is magic in reflection when we are able to connect the dots of our lives with insights into ourselves or God or the journey we are on. It is why I journal and walk and reflect. It is why David of the Old Testament meditated and reflected on the truths of God and one can discern his own connecting of the dots in the Psalms that he wrote. Those who write know the magic of insights that come in the reflective solitude of words meeting paper.

If there is a reason we don't reflect more, perhaps it is because along with magic, reflection can bring pain. Things we have done that hurt us or others, things others have done that hurt us, the regrets of life that can accumulate over time. Scriptures speak of Godly sorrow, sadness over actions or words that none of us escape this side of heaven. Yet even this is a blessing as we contemplate how we will live in the future, experience once again the grace of God that always encompasses our brokenness and overwhelms us with His limitless love. Without reflection on our brokenness we cannot experience Gods grace or live in  true humility.

There is a direct correlation between the quality of our reflection and the wisdom with which we live our lives. Wisdom requires reflection: time to consider our motivations, the paths we walk, priorities we establish and the plans we are making. Insight into any of these requires deep reflection.

Why do we read C.S. Lewis, the Psalms, or devotional books? Because the writers were people of deep reflection and we are blessed by their insights. Each of us can do the same.

TJ Addington of Addington Consulting has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness in both the for profit and non profit sectors. He can be reached at tjaddington@gmail.com

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