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Monday, 21 March 2016 15:31

Power of a Reference Point - Part 1

Navigation, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or relationally, all work on the same basic truths.

One of the truths is we need a point of origin and the point of destination.  Most of us understand this pretty well.  For instance, going from the house to the mall.  It is as simple as hopping in the car and driving from the house to the parking lot that has become very familiar.  Some have done this so much they can handle it their eyes closed, or almost.  The reason is because the path has been so frequently traveled that the landscape, roads, lighting have become permanent points of reference that allow you to freely travel without consciously having to work at it.

Let’s now clear the points of reference and put you in a new city, new language and new road rules (drive on the left side of the road). The journey begins by leaving the house and heading to the new mall that has been advertised.  To those who have never journeyed beyond their familiar surroundings may find a moment of anxiety as they realize they don’t know where to begin.  Information overload pours in as the mind is scrambling to make sense of which side of the road to be on.  No compass to show which way is North, even with a compass, their is no map.  The map would have been no value anyway since the points of reference are unfamiliar to you. You find a local policeman who kindly and patiently tells you where to go, how far and the land marks nearby.  Rather than comfort, anxiety begins to creep in as his perfectly spoken language, foreign to yours, brought you a lot of knowledge without any understanding.  Now the way to get back home is as distant as where you are trying to go. As you look at those around you just going about their day, appearing to know where they are going, emotions begin to stir.  Anger and frustration emerges that they just don’t understand how you feel or what you need. It is becoming more challenging to push the panic away as it feels like you are drowning in an ocean.  You wished you were home where you were comfortable and understood what was going on, even if this new journey was what you had always dreamed about, it may not be worth the pain. This is the place of choice that can enhance life or cause a retreat that may take you back to where you began with an added wall that may never be attempted again.

The scene above describes a great reality that describes life itself.  It is more than just traveling to a new physical location.  This is also a picture of what goes on inside when something new (foreign idea, concept, or understanding) is introduced into our lives.  We may hear a truth, embrace the idea in our mind, and spend time pondering the realities.  Until, however, we enter into the truth, concept or destination, we can never experience the intended results or benefits.  Many will try to adopt the truth into their world only to find it muted by measurements that are not possible to release the benefits.  It is no different than buying your favorite teams jersey, watching every game, decorating your home in your favorite characters and thus believing you are a part of them. Contrary, that is a definition of a fan. Fans never experience the hits, life, pressures, rewards, and camaraderie that the players experience.  It is a safe, controlled way to try to experience a mirage of the benefits without the change.  To become a player you have to leave your point of origin and head towards a new destination.  It requires entering into a new arena.

The journey starts where concept becomes reality and it brings you into something that is often unfamiliar with new points of reference, a need for new understanding.  How you measured yourself before has now changed and how the environment before measured you, is no longer compatible in the new areas to be explored.  It is no different than the discovery that the world was round and not flat.  The world of exploration and advancement changed with that simple truth.  We can even see the impact that the sun does not revolve around the earth.  This set a new stage of measuring time and putting a perspective on the scope of the universe we live in.  Both of these discoveries were met with fierce opposition.  One main reason for this is the world that was shaped around these truths would be altered, and the powers which ruled those truths would eventually be dethroned.  One thing that does need to be noted is that their was a cost to accepting a new truth…the familiarity and  camaraderie of the old idea.

After spending years and countless hours mentoring, training and teaching, this seems to be at the core of whether change will occur or not.  It is not that individuals do not want to accept a new idea, it is that giving up their familiar surroundings of navigation are too painful to let go.  The main challenge is that we were not trained in the tools necessary to accurately show where we are in perspective to where we are going.  We also do not have the confidence that our value in the new truth will be better than what we were in the old. My young son said it profoundly when discussing a new map I bought, “I hate maps. They don’t tell you where you are at.” I think this is true of maps or in many of the directions we have received from others in pursuit of a destination.

In junior high, I took a survival class that taught us many ideas that hold powerful tools that have helped me navigate life today.  The main one was creating a reference point that will help you orientate you to your surroundings.  This requires you to step out of the auto pilot of life, stop and look around at your surroundings.  Maybe even changing the route once in a while to force a new perspective on a routine destination.  What do you see that is true and fixed (Note: we are not that point and will be discussed in a later article.)?  This is a reference point and will become the anchor of the rest of the journey until a new reference point can be added.  Developing the skill of finding the highest, fixed (true) or most visible point in an area in reference to your origination, will assure you in your navigation.  If you get off course you can look to the reference point to pull you back on course.  The more we have confidence in venturing forward and opening our eyes to what is around us, the more we can enjoy of the life that has been provided for us.

To be continued . . .

 

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