Now if you are a regular reader, right about now you would be expecting my follow up to the Prayer, Forgiveness and Defecation blog post. But the thing is, that post is already written [stop lying Lisa… you know it is in draft form and still in your journal]. You see the thing with forgiveness, it’s a process not a one second destination, and for me to write something, I need to be a little closer to it. Bear with me, I’m still a work in progress.
Today, however, [well yesterday by the time you read this] something keeps running through my mind. And the way my brain works, when it starts running, it does not stop until I write something down or put something into action. That being said, come and take a little jog around my thought process for a minute [note even I get a bit taken back with the visuals and thoughts that run from my mind and land on this keyboard].
Now some of you may be a bit too young for this one, but I am going to try and add as many visuals as possible to aid in helping me express my thoughts. You may remember when the only way to get a picture was to use an actual camera….and go back a few more years and try to remember that all cameras used film.
Yes child, this was before cell phone photo shoots and digital cameras with their many filters…Thus pre-selfies mania. My dad bought me my first camera and two rolls of film on my seventh birthday – just after the divorce. [Is it me or do some people go a bit extra right after a divorce/breakup, because pre-camera, I can’t really remember any significant birthday presents from my Dad. But each person has their own love language and I guess they express it in their own way…clearly, I have digressed.] Nonetheless, I loved my camera and I felt grown having my own. And like any ill-equipped child/adult/person, when given something that they are not ready for, I used it up. For those who grew up in the digital world, the idea of using up all the film is just going to go over your head. But for the rest of us, we know that each roll of film allowed you to take 12, 24 or 36 pictures, and no there was no delete and take over. Add to that the fact that though I was given the camera and the film, no one volunteered to pay for the development of the film to get the actual photographs [no, they weren’t automatic like polaroid]. To sum it up, at the end of the day, I was left with a camera, two used films, and no money or access to development. But isn’t my old school camera and my rolls of film a lot like life though?
Life – like a camera, gives you gifts and abilities; the opportunity to capture moments. These moments or experiences then reflect reality… unfiltered, giving you the good with the bad, and sometimes they even bring out the ugly in the situation. Yes, we would all love to filter every experience and make them all wonderful, blurring out the messy stuff and bringing focus to specific points. But life isn’t like that. For us to really develop, we have to be willing to see everything for what it is. We have to acknowledge our way of thinking, our actions and the role we play in creating many of the problems that we have faced. In addition to that, we have to be accountable and transparent for the role we play in our reaction to things that may happen around us and to us. This seems to be a tall order especially in a day and age where people accept very little involvement in the scripting of their own story-line and find it more effective to blame every other person for their lives. Yes, there are some shady people – there are some evil ones too – and yes, life can sometimes drag us across the floor like a sack of cloth. But we have to be accountable for what we brought to the situation [sometimes even being there in the first place], especially what we do with what we are given in life and if we choose to react or grow from the experience.
Similar to my seven-year-old self, sometimes we are just ill prepared and not ready for some of the things that we crave or claim to want in life. If we continue to go through life crying out to everyone with a listening ear that we deserve and want every and anything [especially when comparing our lives to others], do we really think that is going to prepare us for what lies ahead? I think not. At the end of the day we have to prepare to be proactive. Being accountable for our actions and considering the consequences for each action allows each one of us to capture better moments.
But the comparison with cameras/film and life does not end there. As the words bounced around my mind, I started to think of film development. And no, I am not talking about the mass production type of development where you drop your film off and get it back the same day or within an hour. I mean real photography, where you go into a dark room to protect the film, and work through different processes to release the images. To me, life is like this too… sometimes, we need to take more time in our development process and not rush through things. Life was not meant to be served on a fast food tray, it was meant to be slow served and enjoyed. Your gifts and talents have to be nurtured for them to mature and sometimes you have to keep them away from the outside environment to prevent over exposure. Everyone believes that they know the direction that your life should go and they want you to remain the same. Stagnation may reflect their own life. Or maybe it is just easier for them to digest without the bitterness of their life hiccups and idleness… which, if you really look close at it, may really taste more like their allergy to change and accountability… just saying. If you spend all of your evolution with people who would rather de-evolve to their ‘glory days’ and not focus on where they could be moving forward to if they invested real time and effort, then all you going to end up with are blurred lines until you can’t understand or appreciate the beauty being lost from your own development.
At the end of your life, when the mind flashes back to the moments/pictures that reflect your journey, what is your film roll going to show? Are the visions of your life going to be blurred out because you over processed the opinions of others and did not follow the slow process of developing your gifts and talents? Are you going to rush to expose yourself and use up all of your opportunities before you are prepared and ready for where they may lead you? Like film, what you produce is based mainly on what you focus on and the methods you use to grow. Take the time to find out what is best for you. You are your own work of art and within you is God’s perfect vision.