“Just a…”

Today, just a few words on this week’s Five Minute Friday prompt word:

   just             

I often start a short blog post with wording something like this:

“Just for today…

“Just this…”

That word “just” takes on a different meaning for me then. Instead of relegating something to the mediocrity pile by saying it’s “just a…” or “I’m just a…” for me it makes the word “just” imply distinctiveness, unique qualities especially appropriate and useful for the moment or the task at hand.

It may be “just” a few words, but the words are enough to merit being called a blog post.

It may be “just” a photo or collage, but in and of itself it is enough to convey important meaning so that nothing else is needed.

I’m right now considering how many things we give the quantifying label “just a…” that are really critically important, and have such large meaning and value.

A “just” minimalism.

Something to think about if you think of yourself as “just a…” whatever (fill in the blank),

or if you label that latest work of love you justdid as “It was just…”

Fact is, you might be just right for the task, more than many a person, and the simple deed you did might be just what was most needed.

Indeed, “just” is also a synonym for “right,” isn’t it?

Just a few thoughts about the word “just.”

*****

For a set of links to all the other posts in this “Meandering Forward” series, go to this page, which will be updated daily as new posts appear in the blog content.

Quotes and Commentary: On Achievement

What I really would like to blog about today is Jesus Christ’s take on “success” and “goals,” as revealed in the things he both said and did. But to do justice to a topic like that requires a lot more time and energy, study and thought incubation, than I have handy right now. Perhaps the weekend will offer enough time and rest. I hope so. It’s most often from such wellsprings that the best products arise. So hopefully I say that in the coming final week of February (and a bit into March) such pieces may appear here.

For now, instead, I share two entries I journaled prompted by quotes in this journaling book—because they address “achievement,” which is the topic this meandering month has focused on a lot.

The first is commentary on this Theodore Roosevelt quote:

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

I immediately found myself responding thus:

“Desire it enough to aim toward it even if you don’t know whether you can.”

But then I went on addressing the second half that is needed for any accomplishment:

“Many have never achieved what they firmly believed they could, simply because they never put in the grueling effort necessary.  Many live in a fantasy world of what they believe they could achieve rather than working toward the goal. I’ve done that myself.

You must feel that the effort is worth it, whether you ever reach the desired objective or not. A thing worth doing is worth trying to do. And the belief that God can do all things, and do them well, holds the key to perseverance and success for me. I stand back afterwards, many times, astounded by what He enabled me to achieve. Truly in many cases, I still do not think I had it in myself. But God…”

The second is my response to this quote from Leonardo da Vinci:

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough: we must apply. Being willing is not enough. We must do.”

I wrote,

“Well, this man certainly was a doer—although doing, even accomplishing, is not so much a measure of one’s goodness, of whether the his doings were ethical, kind, and right in the eyes of God, etc—and old Leonardo evidently used questionable methods sometimes. He also started a lot of things he never finished. [But how dare I ever criticize anyone for that?]

“There’s another point here to analyze: the idea of the urgency of doing being more important than anything else. Driven type A people sometimes, wittingly or unwittingly, leave a trail of collateral damage behind them. A balance of love and concern for others and for how your doing, doing, doing might affect them is imperative.”

There you have some grist for your weekend thought mill, while I take my weekend break. Please feel free to leave comments with your own thoughts on these subjects.

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For a set of links to all the other posts in this “Meandering Forward” series, go to this page, which will be updated daily as new posts appear in the blog content.

 

A Beautiful View of “Progress”

Just yesterday I received email notification of a fellow blogger’s post that meshes so beautifully with where we are in this “Meandering” journey that I want to turn the “podium” over to her. What she has to say is short, sweet, wise and poetic. So please click on this link to Christina Moore’s “Crumbs from His Table” for a beautiful view of “Progress.”

You can leave a comment there or here, and let me know what you think!

***

Beyond that,  I want to add a little further commentary on yesterday’s quote about beauty on the pathway we’re traveling.

If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.”

-Anatole France

It never occurred to me till I read the comments on that post that the quote could be interpreted as encouraging us to follow any path that looks attractive. I see how it could. And that would be foolish indeed.

I was thinking, however, of us earnestly trying to follow the right path, the best path, but getting bogged down in the struggles and doubts and striving after goals, fearing and trying to second-guess the future. Then we need to slow down, trust God, and enjoy the beauties of the journey, with confidence in His presence, leading, help, and protection.

And that’s the basic idea of the poem linked above, isn’t it? Lovely!

*****

For a set of links to all the other posts in this “Meandering Forward” series, go to this page, which will be updated daily as new posts appear in the blog content.

Let’s Not Let Goals Blind Us!

On my way meandering around town today–in a more or less orderly fashion–I passed a chakboard propped outside one of the shops, with this quote on it,

If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.”

-Anatole France

My path happened to be beautiful. Sorry, no camera with me then, but I was glad I’d taken my little notebook so I could jot down words like these.  So  I did, and as I sat in the book store later, I pondered what I’d copied…

Really, we do make a bit too much of those goals and strategies for success sometimes, don’t we?

Always looking and longing ahead into the fog of uncertainty, we can miss so much beauty and joy that lies right around us now.

So, for now, let’s pay attention. Beauty can be lurking in a lot of places where we’ll miss it if we don’t!

May you have a beauty-full day today!

*****

For a set of links to all the other posts in this “Meandering Forward” series, go to this page, which will be updated daily as new posts appear in the blog content.

What Does Success Look Like for You?

At the beginning of this series I posed the concept of “One:” doing one thing with focus—starting with any one thing to get motivated and going, but eventually determining the most important thing to do in a day, even seeking God’s special guidance by asking something like, “What one thing would You have me do today?”

A video I’ve referred to talks about an individual’s “Most Important Task,” and urges, “Say no to everything that doesn’t support your immediate goals.”

But immediate goals, like “the next ‘one’ thing” or “Most Important Task,” if valid and worth pursuing, should arise from core goals, heart goals, life goals, shouldn’t they?

So could it be that those of us who find ourselves “wasting time” are doing so because we haven’t quite pinpointed our personal purpose, right now, on this planet? Or, if we did have a pretty good idea at one time, did someone or something, or numerous circumstances, knock us off our course?

Success is so often displayed as acquired wealth or fame. But I doubt anyone reading this blog is aiming to be a multi-billion-dollar entrepreneur, sports super star, or US President. (Although some who visit here may wistfully dream of fame as author or artist…)

How do (or would) you define success—personally, I mean in terms of your own life situation and personal life goals? Think about this for a while today:

At what do you as an individual want to be successful, in what area of life? By the time you reach life’s end, what do you hope to have achieved?

Or, what is the most important aim for the particular phase of life you’re now living?

What you want to be successful at right now might not be the same as what it was ten or twenty years ago, or what it will be ten or twenty years from now. Once, perhaps you were a student and your idea of success might have been graduating magna cum laude (or just graduating at all!), or winning some prestigious academic award (or, just finding your niche in business, service, or one of the arts). Later, married and with children, your concept of success might revolve around your parental or marital role, being the best parent or spouse you can be, for instance.

Then there are the areas where your interests and creative talents might lie. Maybe you’ve recently taken on a new aspiration of that sort. You write or paint or sculpt or weave now and hope to get published, or establish yourself as a viable entity in your art or craft. Maybe you’ve started a business or are pursuing a ministry—or long to do one of those things—and your thoughts of success revolve around that. Or perhaps your aspirations have become more spiritual, and your longing for close communion and walk with God makes other aspirations fade, except as how they fit into that large desire…

You get the idea.

Or do you?

Do I?

If  you, like I, are not out to make millions or be known to millions, perhaps you’ve never really defined what success would look like for you. “Life” can demand so much in itself that you may have been spending most of it dealing with crises and others’ needs and demands, on even a willy-nilly basis, maybe just trying to keep your head above water financially or  emotionally, so that you’ve never really developed and defined any personal life goals. Maybe you’ve had your occasional whimsical day dreams, but not a pointed personal pursuit.

If so, how does the saying go? “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time”?

What’s your aim in life? What, for you, would be personally satisfying “success”?

Does it involve money? Be honest here. Where might money be a crucial factor—or seem to be?

Does it involve fame?

Does it involve creative expression?

Does it involve attaining a certain level of faith and spirituality?

Think about these things, and come back tomorrow, possibly with a definite springboard to spring off of, and we’ll pursue our pursuits further, and maybe with clearer direction.

 

For a set of links to all the other posts in this “Meandering Forward” series, go to this page, which will be updated daily as new posts appear in the blog content.