Personal parables

Whenever I feel like I’m not moving fast enough, I remember that hill and that I arrived one way or another. If you’re feeling like you’re not moving fast enough today, feel free to borrow my hill if it helps you to keep moving.*
(Bernadette Jiwa)

Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing.**
(Jesus of Nazareth)

Bernadette Jiwa remembers cycling home at the end of the day in her first job:

When I got my first job, I cycled to work and back every day. On a fine summer day in Dublin, cycling is a joy, it’s a different story in winter. The worst part was always that last hill on the way home. I’d try to stay on the bike for as long as possible, not wanting the gradient to beat me. But when the frost was thick and the road slick with ice, there was nothing for it but to get off and walk up the hill alongside the bike.*

The story of being defeated by the ice on a hill at the end of a winter’s day held a most important truth for her, though:

As my progress up the hill slowed, I’d curse the wasted momentum, calculating how much earlier I would have arrived if I’d managed to stay on the bike. And yet, I still got home anyway. Maybe a few minutes later, with a bit less patience, I reached my destination all the same.*

Through life, we gather our stories, personal parables, made up of pictures and words that hold much significance for us, and working through our lives afresh each time we remember them, enabling us to be the person we want to be, rather than be distracted by the things that might otherwise consume us and spit us out.

If you haven’t gathered your personal parables, it may be worth capturing them in some journaling and reflecting upon them.

(*From Bernadette Jiwa’s The Story of Telling: One Way or Another.)
(**Matthew 13:34)

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