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The voice of improvement

 This morning I wrote the following as a part of a book on faith I've been writing for some time:

"We are steeped, within and without, by incessant invitations for improvement. From without, we are surrounded by evidences that something better than what we have and are exists. We hear songs of deep love that we recognize is beyond what we possess or give. We see movies that portray heroism and sacrifice beyond what we would give. We see and smell and feel beauty in nature that exceeds what we create and enjoy in our daily lives. From within, an echoing message is provided by a still, small voice that paradoxically whispers with the strength to shake us, suggesting to our deepest core that we can live up to and become whatever good we become aware of.

These ubiquitous signals can easily be ignored, but never silenced. They are the voice of God, relentlessly calling us towards improvement. This voice is deliberately woven into the very fabric of our lives, being in and through all things from the creation of the world. Faith is what this voice is calling us toward: the revelation of the prospect for improvement, the invitation to discover the path that will bring its fulfillment."

As we go forward in our lives, we are bombarded by spiritual messages that suggest it is possible to be better than we are. You see a message every time you see something that is better than you are.

Rather than swat them away, we ought to recognize the hand of God inviting us to come up to a better station. And if we have the courage to take a step in that direction, we may as well have the sense to know what lies in store. 

It is a lonely road to listen to God. You will find that, as difficult as growth is, the far harder part is dealing with the lack of corresponding growth in others. You have to trust God enough to walk toward him, even when it means walking away from everything and everyone you know. It never ceases to amaze me how long that path between those two is. Like walking through a dark tunnel, it's hard to believe how far away the bright light at the other side is. As you walk through, you leave behind the warmth of the day and are slowly suffocated by the permeating, choking air. You feel the coldness come over you, and can no longer see your feet moving in front of you. But you just keep on going for what seems like forever. You can't reach the other side until you decide to walk forever if that's what it takes, with no perception of ever moving forward. You see the light, and can't deny it, and you will walk forever, whether it seems to be getting closer or not.

If you open your eyes and ears, you will find invitations all around you to become better than you are.

It IS possible to love unconditionally. It IS possible to be a perfectly loyal friend. It IS possible to do the right thing all the time. It IS possible to be perfectly courageous. It IS possible to have no fear of death. It IS possible to suffer all things that the Father deems necessary. 

I know these things, because God has caused me to become them. Because I am only a man, I know that you can become these things, too, if you will only trust God and listen to him. He is calling you.