Forgiveness – Defining moment or lifelong maintenance?
In life we have many defining moments. Our first sporting match. Our first stage performance. Our first friendship.
Yet in between, and particularly following these defining moments, our lives are filled with maintenance. Our first sporting match leads to a life of enjoying that sport. Our first stage performance leads to a passion for theater. Our first relationship prepares us for what relationships might follow.
Forgiveness is no different. One might say it comes in fits and starts. I would prefer to say it comes in defining moments and maintenance.
Defining moments of forgiveness are beautiful in that they provide opportunities to breakthrough old patterns. One might struggle for 50 years to connect with their parent, and then have a moment of reconciliation that changes everything.
But it turns out that everything doesn't change at once!
These defining moments are beautiful, but over-estimating them to be complete and all-encompassing is a dangerous trap. The truth is that defining moments of forgiveness, just like our first sporting match or stage performance, are limited by their singularity. They are single defining moments. The maintenance that follows is where the practice builds, where the forgiveness lives, and where the truth lies.
Defining moments of forgiveness are sparks. It is up to me to find the tinder and fuel to convert such a spark into an ongoing flame.
Do you tend toward investing more time and energy into defining moments of forgiveness or into maintenance? Could shifting your focus help you to forgive in a new and more successful way?