You may have heard of three dimensional thinking; considering past, present and future. As we close out 2014, and welcome the new year, I’d like to propose we consider not just 3-D thinking, but four dimensional thinking as well.
Three dimensional thinking has been around a long time. Two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul penned his 3-D approach to life:
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3:13-14 King James Version
It sounds like three things, yet he says “this one thing I do.” The one thing is 3-D thinking: forgetting the past, reaching for the future, pressing on toward the goal.
Personally, I get stuck on the first part of the three. Forget the past? I like to cherish memories, learn from them, and pass those precious lessons on to future generations. Perhaps the original language of this scripture didn’t literally mean “forgetting,” as in loss of memory, for we know those with constant memory loss struggle to function in daily life. Perhaps the connotation of “forgetting” is letting the past be the past. Instead of living in the past, ruminating over things we wish we’d done better, shaming ourselves, or resenting others for things they did, perhaps it means viewing the past with open hands, letting it be what it was, and finding a way of being at peace with the past.
That, in itself, is no easy accomplishment.
The next dimension to consider is the future–reaching for what lies before us. Again, a tricky one for me. How can we see the future, so that we may reach for it? The future isn’t tangible. We haven’t seen it, touched it, felt its sensations, relished its joys or grieved its sorrows. The future is envisioned. The future is malleable; we create it as we go, at least those things that are within our power and choice. The future holds hope, for those who find its invisible tethers and use them to anchor and reign ourselves toward its best fulfillment. We reach for it. It is elusive and inspirational at once.
The next dimension we know. It is the gift of now. Letting our firm grip on the past go, reaching forward to our envisioned goal, the present is active. Not dashed to and fro or laid low by trials and challenges, the present decides, rather, to press on. The present offers an opportunity to make a difference; to lean into, to give sufficient force toward that which we aim to achieve. A runner in a race, the present senses what is behind, is not distracted by it, but commits herself entirely to reaching the finish line.
So, we have 3-D thinking, and it is a powerful way to live. What, then, of this fourth dimension? Is it not enough to give our strength and effort toward pressing on to our mark?
The fourth dimension is inside of us, and all around us. The fourth dimension is spiritual. It is openness. . . openness to see barriers within ourselves that hinder, and to cooperate with Love in letting them be transformed. It is openness to see Love at work in others, whether friend or foe, and cooperate with Love’s work toward building all things together, creating beauty from ashes. It is openness to see the world around us and the ways our planet–even our universe–needs tending if it is to flourish and sustain us until it is time for the new heaven and earth. It is our spirit, not yet having achieved, but flowing with Love’s Holy Spirit. Having tasted each day of this glory that is, we embrace Love as we press forward into what glory is to come.
As we count down the seconds closing the year 2014, and formulate our new year’s resolutions, let’s add another dimension to hone our approach to the new year. Let’s commit to learning from, but letting go of, the past, so it does not distract us. Let our goals be Love’s goals, and let us cooperate with–no, more than cooperate–press on toward this high calling of Love. Let’s do so with spirit, from the inside, out.
I want to also take a moment to thank you, my WordPress Blog readers and followers, for spending time with me this year. I treasure the thought that my words are important enough to you that you choose to take some of your precious time to read them, consider them, and engage in comments and feedback.
I also want to thank WordPress for facilitating this new mode of exchange! WordPress put together a summary of this blog from 2014. Its amazing to me that people from all over the world have “met” me here, and that I have briefly met you, too.
As I let go of 2014, I will be thinking of all of you, and pressing on toward making 2015 a year of better writing, better engagement, and better 4-D thinking.
Here’s what WordPress summarized for me, have a look:
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.
Happy New Year Everyone!
©Joan T. Warren