In some circles the words “self discovery” is a bad one. It implies a focus that counters the idea of where our vision and focus should be; outside ourselves. I would argue with that conclusion, because of the fact that we do not make or shape ourselves; “We are made in God’s image.” But at the outset we have no idea what that image may be , so we look for it in others, and in the products of God’s imagination. Our efforts to reach that destination are worthy in any form He uses: Often outside the Holy Word.
As His instrument, God empowers others to deliver wisdom and perspective to others around us. He has allowed us to make choices as to what we will accept as truths or lies.
The vehicle that He often uses are the gifts found in others. All forms of art, painting, drama, and music are fundamental in our own self-development. While it is argued that we are fully formed even before we enter the womb, too much is found in the bible that attests to the fact that events shape our lives…. even those that may be terribly adverse or obscure.
Such is the role of the arts in every form. Be it graphic, theatre, music, or in written form. Our exploration of these devices is key to our full development. Some may say; I’m not into all of that. As an artist I am not either. I am, however selective… judging after the form has made it’s case; delivering it’s message. We must be careful not to communicate our biases, and tastes to others who depend upon us for guidance. They deserve to make their own choices.
Some of these discoveries take work and patience to do the sorting- out process of shaping us. Some will impact us greatly; some, not so much. Regardless of the form, our interest is stirred in whether, or to what extent, we find “ourselves” in what is delivered. To find ourselves in everything is rare to impossible.
Those of us who have gone “prospecting” know the value of those discoveries. There is no “mother lode” outside the divine Word itself. The Lord, however has created a much larger library from which to choose. Jesus did not often speak in emphatic or direct terms. He used situations and stories to allow us to frame our own conclusions. He uses the expressions of others to do the same.
I hope you will do some prospecting with me in the following verse by W. B. Yeats, a Nobel prize winner in 1923. It is called “A Prayer for Old Age”:
“God guard me from those thoughts men think in mind alone.
He that sings a lasting song, thinks in a marrow bone.
From all that makes as wise old man, that can be praised of all.
O what I am I should not seem for the song’s sake a fool?
I pray – for fashions word is out, and prayer comes round again-
That I may seem, though I die old, a foolish, passionate man.”
Perhaps you found as I did, such great truth in so few words of a man who would not be judged by the conclusions of his mind alone, but those of the inner being; his soul. That these thoughts be eternal. Or that one may be criticized for sticking to the conclusions of our heart. He ends with the thought; I pray not in these times, but eternally, however judged by others as immature or misdirected.
Jesus found us….. as He waited for us to discover ourselves. May we search for that often, by every possible means, and early on.