I like to study. Do you? For me, I enjoy the whole idea of new concepts and thoughts expanding my thinking. But, I am always running them past my understanding of the Bible. As my bro said the other day, ‘The Bible is a very profound book”, to which I heartily agree. It’s like my internal compass. So when I write posts on ‘grateful’ or ‘thankful’ I am going back and checking out what I can find in the Bible before taking an idea as my own. We’ve established that ‘grateful’ isn’t in the Bible, but ‘thankful’ is, so I did a little more research. Turns out there’s a few words all interpreted as ‘thankful’, but most of them stem from a Hebrew word ‘Yada’ (like Seinfeld’s ‘Yada yada yada). Yada means ‘to know’. More specifically, ‘to know’ in five different dimensions. To keep it simple, we’ll just look at the first dimension today, which is to know in detail, to study, analyse, or investigate like a detective seeking the details of a mystery.
Growing up my sister and I were given the nicknames of Wally and Polly. She was called Polly because she talked so much. I got Wally on account of my indecisiveness. I was always ‘wallying around’. Then onto the market comes a series of books entitled ‘Where’s Wally?” Interestingly, Wally becomes Waldo in North America, Charlie in France, Walter in Germany, all depending on what resonates better with the locals. Now, this is clever marketing but whether he’s Wally or Waldo, you still know him by his defining features. He has a little red and white striped hat with a pompom. He’s tall and skinny so you don’t confuse him with Santa Claus. He has a red and white striped shirt… not black and white like a criminal (stereo-type cartoons going on here) blue jeans, glasses, a walking stick. And in all the activity within a page you can still find him because you know (Yada) him.
To put it candidly, I was a Wally because I did not know (yada) myself. I was my own mystery. I did not know myself because I was bound up by things that had happened in my life, both spiritual and natural, causing my thinking to be skew-whiff and beliefs all wrong. When one is bound, one is hopeless. Hopelessness (the absence of hope) leads to depression. When one is depressed the ability to make decisions is very low. I was a Wally and, sadly, did not know it.
So, how did this Wally begin to know (yada) herself? I came across two entirely different books that did nothing more than open my eyes to the fact that I was NOT living my best life. There was more. Having ABSOLUTELY no idea where to turn, what to do, or how to go about finding this life the authors promised, I asked God to lead. I trusted Him that He knew everything and could do miracles. My prayer was a simple request that, if it was at all possible, I’d really appreciate His help. I didn’t see any other alternatives open to me.
The good news is that He is a God who does do miracles… actually, He was the VERY best alternative I could have chosen! By the time He asked me to do the daily grateful drawings ten years had passed from that prayer, in which He had peeled back the layers of my heart and mind like an onion , exposing and letting me deal with things one issue at a time. Without all the chains binding me up I was now free to begin discovering who I really was. Wally was about to change into someone new.
Now, in order to do this drawing every day that He was asking of me, I had to become like a detective examining each day carefully. Paying real attention. I had to learn to look for the good. It did not come naturally. Some days it was just a mental exercise of finding things to be thankful for… emotions often not engaged so no overwhelming feelings of gratefulness to help me see the moments. But with constant daily practice I began slowly to see differently. I had to know (yada) and be at peace with myself. I began to see the many good things in my life. Eventually emotion followed. Gratefulness for my life did come.
So, where’s Wally these days?
Wally is gone.