I love the way water reflects surroundings. It’s a glass mirror of sorts that reflects in part, not in full. The ripples of the water add to the abstract quality of what is being reflected back. The colors become more muted, blended, and …fluid, almost bleeding one into another.
And you know, reflection of mind and heart is kind of like that. When we take the time to look in that glass mirror of our hearts, we see. We see a reflection, a part, of what’s there. But it’s not a concrete picture of who we are. It’s fluid, dependent upon the ripples in our hearts as we examine, dependent upon the storms that roll in and block the light that allows for good reflections. That’s another thing, light is a pretty important component of reflection. It’s presence allows for more clarity, a truer picture of what’s there. The absence of light mutes, darkens, and hinders the ability to reflect. Yes, light is a very necessary component of reflection.
There are seasons of life that seem to bring out the inclination to take a look within and reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. I’m in one of those seasons right now. There’s lots and lots of reflection going on. But that’s the thing about reflections, what we see reflects the now, the moment, the present. A pool of water cannot reflect back what was there yesterday, or what will be there in the future. It merely shows what’s there now. So it is with reflections. It is seen through the lens of the day. Sometimes that lens might be squeaky clean. Sometimes it might not. Times of self-reflection, owning up, dealing to heal…these are healthy good steps to take. But self-reflection is so not the end all. I’m convinced that when we take a look within, it’s a lot like looking at a reflection that’s an image of something, not the real deal. And again, light needs to be a strong and very present component of our self-reflection.
In the Psalm 139, David says, “Search me Oh, God, and know my heart…” David knows that he’s got some self-deceptive tendencies. There were times in his life when he saw only what he chose to see, and he left a wake of pain and destruction. But God’s grace didn’t let him stay in that place of being self-deceptive. He brought people, conviction, and LIGHT to his darkness. Paul had some blind spots of his own. God stopped him in his tracks so that Paul would actually realize how blind he was and have the desire to see who God really is. “This Jesus whom you persecuted…” was the one blinding, then opening Paul’s eyes in to things he didn’t even realize he didn’t see..
So here’s the thing. Reflection is so good. I need it. I need to own up, fess up, and take the time to deal with things in my life. That’s part of growth. But…it’s not the end all, because I so see in part. I’m so very unmistakably human. Like they say, there can definitely be a “Paralysis of self-analysis.” Not good. Just like 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, we see in part. I don’t have the ability to totally see all my motivations purely or clearly or totally. But God does. He knows. He sees. He hears. He loves and dares to draw us near when we might think we’ve already arrived. Seasons of self-reflection are a gift, but God’s laser like vision can cut through the mirage and get to the heart of who we are, the heart of what we need, and the heart of how He calls us to walk. He just calls us to bring it all to Him…to see things in the light of His Grace, in the light of His Truth, in the Light of His Calling in our lives.
The difference between me trying to reflect on myself with God’s grace or without it can be compared to the difference between me taking picture of the above reflection of the pond during the night, or during the day…in the darkness, or in the light. Big difference. Me? I prefer to take a look at my reflection in the light. Definitely. And I pray that the reflection, though abstract, though in part, though momentary, will somehow be a reflection of His grace in my life.
Just a few thoughts as I process the past and the future and sit right here in the middle of all that God has doing and will do. So thankful for this moment right here, right now and the awareness that He goes before us and behind. (Isaiah 52:12)
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:12