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Lent Photo-A-Day (February 10 – March 27, 2016)

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Day 3 — Examination

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When I think of the word examination, three things come to mind.
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1. To have someone gauge what you know — a college final?
2. To have someone observe how well you do something — a job evaluation?
3. To have someone physically examine you — your yearly check-up?

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All this will sustain a hiker for about five days. (www.cnn.com)

For me there’s one point where all these examples meet, and that has to do with being on the journey I was talking about yesterday.

If I were hiking the Appalachian trail, for example, which happens to be 2168.1 miles long (a National Scenic Trail extending from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine), when I’d make camp each night I’d take stock of my supplies for the next day. There’s no way I could shove enough food, clothing, etc., into my backpack to make that whole trip.

I think our inner journeys are much the same. For growth and change to happen we must stop every now and then and take stock of how our “heart health” is.
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1. What have I learned about myself and other people as I’ve made the previous leg of my journey — how they feel about things, what they believe, their hopes and dreams, their trials and sufferings?
2. Have I been able to put what I’ve learned into practice — has that knowledge allowed me to become more accepting and loving toward the folks I meet “on the trail?” And as Fim pointed out below, for MYSELF.
3. Can I ascertain if my heart is being healed as I’m traveling this path — are there places in my heart that are still wounded and struggling with behaviors that keep me from being the best me I can be?

All of those questions are vital on my inner pilgrimage if I’m serious about my quest of becoming the best me I can be. And for a person of faith who loves and respects Jesus, it also means examining myself to see if I’m living by the principles he set out for me in the Gospels. A good journey verse is Psalm 77:6 which says: I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders…

Inner journeys aren’t easy, and they’re not day trips. They’re a commitment to honesty, genuineness, love, and caring. Not only for God and others, but for myself as well. Have you been on a spiritual journey? I’d love to hear your song!

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The unexamined life
is not worth living.
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Socrates

 

Picture Credit: www.v-p-m.de

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