(Reader friends, this is a duplicate post of one I tried to publish earlier, but hasn’t yet appeared on my blog site. My apologies if this is a repeat for you!)
You cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction.
~ Edward de Bono
Today’s cairn is one that would indicate a turning point, a time to move in a new direction. As you envision yourself walking your current path of life, how would you react to this cairn today? Would you be surprised that you are being directed to take a new path? Would you be sad to leave your current one? Or would you find that you have been seeking this cairn for some time now? Whether this cairn has surprised, saddened, or supported us, today we are invited to move in a new direction.
Perhaps our new direction will be a minor adjustment, such as changing our morning routine, reading a different type of book, getting more information about a new vocation, drinking an extra glass of water, or adding a time of prayer to the day. Small steps may lead to bigger steps, and small changes may inspire bigger ones.
Or maybe it is time to redirect ourselves in a significant way. Our new direction could be a completely new path, or it may be a new attitude for our current one. As we discern our next steps, we might consider what types of cairns have been guiding us up until now. Have our cairns been assembled with inspiration, imagination, courage, and trust? Or have they been created out of fear, complacency, adequacy, and doubt?
At this time, my current path seems quite sure and true. But occasionally I hear a quiet invitation to look around. I cast a few curious glances toward new paths, wondering if there are beautiful vistas out there I am meant to discover. I have this feeling that I am to do something more, but I am not certain what that is.
I found these words from Elizabeth Gilbert’s interview with Jen Hatmaker so helpful, as she talks about an idea from her book, Big Magic:
“I think that the words passion, purpose, and balance actually bring fear… because they present a sense of lack and that you should be doing more, you should be producing more, and you should be more successful. All of that stuff, I think, creates anxiety, but the word curiosity for me always makes me feel calm. It always makes me feel smiley, because it’s so gentle…
Curiosity just says, “I wonder what it would be like to take a pottery class for a day?” The stakes are so low, and that’s why it’s actually achievable. Curiosity is this very gentle and very simple impulse that causes you to turn your head a quarter of an inch, look at something a little more, and be like, Oh, that’s neat. What’s that? That person is kind of cool. What’s that?
You can live a curiosity-driven life that never sews itself together into something that looks like what the champions of success would tell you that a championship successful life looks like. But it will be a really good life, and it will be a really nourishing life, and it will be a life that looks like you. And that, to me, feels like the highest attainment.”1
How might you begin exploring today?
You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalm 16:11 NRSV)
(As you place the stone today, consider these words) “I place this turning- point stone as my invitation to move in this new direction…”
I thank you for your steadfast, loving presence on all the paths of my life. I know that my purpose is less about my path and more about your presence, but today I would like to turn from those things that no longer bless you nor me. Give me the curiosity and the courage to begin exploring any new paths that would lead me to find more of you – and more of my true self in you. Keep my eyes open to notice your guidance, my heart ready to receive your wisdom, and my feet willing to follow your lead. Amen.
Next week’s cairn theme will be An Altar of Gratitude.