I saw a great quote this morning that said: Experience- it's what you get when you didn't get what you want. I was struck by the quote because it makes so much sense. In a world that pushes us to achieve, learn, grow and set goals, we tend to overlook all of the experience we gain along the way. And, isn't it true that sometimes it takes more experience to finally get what you really want?
I think about my life and the work I do with people everyday. After 14 years of experience, trying to get what I want for results with people and their health is getting easier because of my experience. Am I where I want to be? Heck no! But I am a lot closer because of my experience. I think about some of the difficult cases that have given me insight into specific conditions that are now somewhat "easy" because of the experience from the difficult case.
I believe the same can be true with life in general. Whether looking at relationships, parenting, health, managing finances or any of the other thousands of things we humans have to manage, experience makes it "go" better, with fewer mistakes and a more desirable end result. And over time, with experience, we can keep refining ourselves, our processes, our emotions, our beliefs or values until we get it "perfect."
This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, "They are my people", and they will say "The Lord is our God." Zec 13:7
How many times in life does it feel like we are being put in the fire? I often ask myself and God, "Again? Really? I thought I learned this lesson and gained the experience I needed?" I, in my humanity, realize that I don't know God's plan for me and my life and that yes, I am not perfect and require a lot of refining. But, "Come on!", is what I often think. Part of the experience I have gained over the years is recognizing that the closer I am to the Lord, the less painful the "refining" process is for me. However, the further away that I am from Him, the more focused on me and my needs I am, the more painful and challenging the trials of life become.
The silversmith has to go through many steps to refine silver to get it to it's purest form. When it reaches it's highest purity, it has a reflective quality similar to a mirror in that the silversmith can see his own image in the finished, pure product. I wonder... at what point will Jesus see himself in me?