Forging 2016 Series: Tale Two

“With time and experience comes a different perception of what's going on around you.” -Chris Robinson
“The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.” -Proverbs 14:15 ESV

Now if you are like me I had in my mind a definition of what prudent was, but in order to fully understand its meaning I looked it up just to be sure.

Prudent: acting with or showing care and thought for the future.

It is with these two guiding wisdoms that I present to you the second tale of our Forging 2016 series, Changing Lenses.  

One of the other major goals we attempt to achieve on the VLA Forging Trip every year is challenging the status quo perception of our lifestyle, our communities, our culture, and the world at large. Trying to change lenses, as it were, to see things differently, becoming more wise, and applying that to our actions; which is to what the first quote refers. And, as the two noun/verbs describe, it is through time and experience that this perception change takes place.

However, as most of us realize, time is a very slow teacher; so, how do we effect this perception change in a shorter, more drastic, and impactful manner?

Experience. Consider this graphic

We first came across this idea on our Intro Trip this program year, and I must say, it has proven more true with each new experience.  The further we stretched our comfort zones through new experience, new places, more challenging hikes, more difficult activities, and ‘unplugging’ for longer periods of time the larger our comfort zones became, and the smaller our panic zones shrank.

This, in turn, leads to a clearer and all together novel perspective on life and the world we see.  It is as my grandmother exclaimed to my mom and aunts who were with her after cataract surgery, “Oh…the colors!” It is not hard for me (a sufferer of extreme near sidedness) to imagine the wonder and sense of majesty such a radical change in vision would illicit. But since some of us haven't had this experience, I give you this example I fortunately get to see often.

My wife is an amazing photographer, and her ability to capture ‘ordinary’ scenes and bring out the spectacular in them truly is a blessing to all those who have seen her work (see more of her art/photography). Her ability to alter our photos to bring out the beauty within is the exact representation of how our ‘lenses’ can change with experiences and time. All of a sudden colors explode, our view of our surroundings sharpen, and the world around us takes on new life. I hope you agree that it really makes a difference in the ‘lens’ you use to view the world.


Before the Jashley 'lens' on the left, and after the Jashley 'lens' on the right. Below is a slideshow of more of her talented edits of the trip photos.

So what does all this have to do with the second quote and prudence, and is it enough just to change your lenses? This is the true outcome we seek to achieve in the forging, that is: to take the new lenses, and through the prudent altering of our steps, change the future trajectory of our lives.

It is the achievement of forging our minds, body, and spirit by summiting Wheeler Peak, overcoming class 4 rapids on the Rio Grande, discussing God and lifestyles every evening, and learning how to cook nourishing meals for our bodies that we are able to take this back into our communities, relationship circles, and individual lives to effect real and lasting change.