"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle."—Jon Acuff
Original piece by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash.
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This autumn-themed wallpaper shows an acorn in one hand and an orange leaf in another, symbolizing the lifecycle of a tree. While we also go through an arc of physical growth from conception through to death, as humans we can move beyond simply physical growth by maturing in other realms: intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. I talk about these aspects in this blog post: Four Pillars of the Human Person
In any given endeavor we pursue in life, it can be discouraging if we compare where we are today—perhaps a lowly acorn on the ground—to where someone else is: a massive tree stretching out branches adorned with beautiful autumn leaves, bearing much fruit, where the birds and squirrels love to dwell. It’s no doubt, however, that this tree at one point was also a simple acorn. It takes time and virtue to grow into who we are meant to be.
It’s easy for me to get fixated wondering why I am not already galloping across the finish line or why others seem farther ahead of me in the race. Instead of looking at others, I find the correct comparison to be: me versus my former self. Have I become more disciplined, more at peace, and more charitable than myself a month ago? A year ago? It is in this routine examination of self that I find not only where I need to continue growing, but also peace, self-confidence, and gratitude for how far I’ve come.
I believe peace is found when my mind, heart, and soul are in unison, harnessed snugly into the present moment, between a past that teaches and a future that compels. In this peace, I can acknowledge the blessing I’ve received, which is the opportunity to run, through thick and thin, along in the journey that is life.