At that moment, it began to dawn on me that my political attitudes were poisoning my very soul. What I was reading and what I was listening to produced bitterness and anger. It hindered my ability to love and blinded me to the truth. Instead, I needed to focus on the one who came to “Preach the Good News to the poor.” I needed more understanding, more empathy, and more curiosity. I needed to learn to love the way Jesus loved and I needed to see the world the way He sees it. On July 4th, 1997, I stood alone as a man in need of God’s transforming love.
We can learn a lot by reflecting on the patterns that have emerged in our lives. They can reveal our penchants, our likes and dislikes, as well as our strengths and weaknesses. Or, as in my case, they may indicate lessons that we still need to learn.
The initial reason we journey upstream is to get a better understanding of our world. The main benefit, however, is that we gain a better understanding of ourselves.