When everything feels lost and time has passed you by, there is still room for redemption.
Value is found in the most surprising of places.
Opportunities for redemption present themselves in extraordinary ways more often than you may recognize. Whether we are receiving redemption ourselves, or if we are participating in giving it to others, our hearts and our minds must remain open to see them and receive them.
Have you ever found yourself pausing and observing an event, or a picture, or a video, and not knowing why you are being pulled to that? A clue that you are observing a metaphor containing a lesson is that you might start experiencing surprising emotions of grief or rejoicing.
When this happens, learn to notice and allow your mind to recall when the last time was that you felt or experienced something similar. These triggered emotions are pulled from implicit memories and can be pleasant or unpleasant. Implicit memories will influence decisions, and judgments, and may linger for hours, or even days afterward.
These emotions can be triggered unexpectedly, and are usually unquestioned. They may even become habitual behaviors that are most often not beneficial for relationships or peace of mind. They can be emotions of anger, or as I mentioned above, grief. They can even be joyful emotions or ones of celebration that arise surprisingly out of nowhere. (Those are my favorite) When I feel those positive emotions, it is easy to move into worship or praise and prayer.
However, the heavy emotions that burden us trigger our behaviors into knee-jerk reactions of anger such as we might experience driving in traffic, or with a stranger while making a transaction in a store while we are in a hurry.
Each time we react in an inappropriate way, (especially when we are called to minister and serve others) we become burdened by those small moments that over time, weigh in on us and clutter our minds and hearts.
Those burdens manifest as disease, depression, anger, or addictive behaviors in an effort to relieve internal pressure and condemnation. Along with the negatives, events that happen in our lives, such as a death of a loved one, a divorce, or loss of income weigh heavily on us as we recover or attempt to recover from them.
Notice these patterns in your life or when you feel weighed down with undefined burdens, depression, or hopelessness.
As you reflect on these emotions and define what you think they are, think of them as boxes of opinions and experiences that were stored out of sight.
Each box will need to be opened, and what is not of value or benefit will need to be released and thrown away. There will be times that even if something of value is discovered, you may need to release that as well for purposes of life and focus.
A great exercise in sifting through these broken and cluttered places is watching the following playlist where a tender-hearted antique dealer discovers treasures in a potter’s house.
I personally experienced massive panic which transformed into tearful gratitude and then a sense of hope, then vision. Your experience and approach may be different.
I have no doubt you will experience a wide range of emotions.
To glean this particular metaphor well, do the following:
- Pay attention to your thoughts, judgments, assumptions, opinions, personal resonance, and emotions while watching.
- Jot down the memories that rise to the surface. (Resist getting caught up in the emotions or personalizing them or judging them. You want to observe as a third party and notice where you are relating to what you are seeing or what is being said.)
- Write down questions that come to mind. Such as:
- Why is this upsetting me so much?
- Why does this excite me?
- What am I loving the most about this?
- How would I have approached this problem?
- What do I need to release in my life?
- What have I given up in my life?
- (you get the idea)
- Give yourself permission to watch what you are comfortable watching.
- Watch with the intention to learn and to receive the metaphors that will arise.
This particular playlist was a huge surprise to me and I was deeply touched by the tender way that Alex (the antique dealer) approaches everything he does. He “preaches” more sermons in his behavior and examples of approach than I have experienced in years of church attendance.
As an added bonus, you can even watch this playlist with others to facilitate interesting discussions and reflections.
View THE POTTER’S HOUSE playlist on Alex’s YouTube channel, “Curiosity Incorporated” on YouTube.
Don’t miss his playlist titled “The Musicians House” after you watch The Potter’s House!