One never knows what simple phrase may be the thing that completely reorients a person’s thinking. For me it was a simple phrase by a pastor over 25 years ago: “We give as much of ourselves as we can understand to as much of God as we can understand.” That simple. It started me on a journey to understand both God and myself better in order to be able to trust God more fully. As a former student, Lisa Carter, notes, a simple concept in a quote by Zig Ziglar captured her imagination and gave her a paradigm for dealing with some challenges in her life.
Dr. Mike Carns, a graduate professor of mine, said, “We identify with certain truths that impact our lives through metaphors….Metaphors are simple word pictures or visual hooks on which we can hang our focus so that our will can be exercised toward some goal.”
For some it is seeing life as a battle, a race, a progressive revelation, a temple or home under construction, a test, a tree, some kind of animal whose traits represent things we desire or admire, a sanctuary place where safety and peace dwells, or some other image or thought. What simple concept has been articulated in a way that has focused your attention and given you motivation toward a goal? What metaphors resonate in your experience and imagination? God’s Word is rich with metaphors for life and life principles. It is a wonderful source for discovering your own particular life metaphor. Talking to others gives us clues about their life metaphors and paradigm for maneuvering through situations. These are helpful in understanding one another. (And I believe they are put in our hearts by God to guide our journey!)