remember the magic paradeFor their 25th anniversary back in 1996 Walt Disney World had a parade called Remember the Magic. Its lyrics reminisce about those days we believed we could reach our dreams, no matter what—those childhood days where we felt the hope for great things. “It’s time to remember the magic!” the song commands.

Too often we find ourselves forgetting what long ago seemed exciting. We forget what it was that drew us to our spouse or why we sought out a particular career. As a busy graduate student I can easily forget the zeal I had at the beginning of my studies. We ask ourselves, Why am I here? Why did I choose this path? Sometimes we need to be reminded of why. We need to remember the magic.

It’s about direction
How our lives and what we do fit into the framework of discernment can be cloudy. We may have chosen our particular path without much thought or prayer. Or we may have made a life decision out of a moment of passion, rather than true clarity. Or we may have indeed chosen a path after a long discernment process and done it with peace. No matter how we got to where we are now, a helpful reminder of why we’re here is important. Why? Because it will either keep us in the direction we’re going or change it. If I took a job with an environmental non-profit with the dream of helping change environmental policy but I realise that my dream is not coming to the fruition I had hoped for, I may want to change direction. I may change what I’m doing at work and take new initiatives, or I may realise that a different organisation or career may help me to better fulfil that dream.

When we recall the “magic” that led us somewhere, to a desire or a dream, it’s not about throwing out the dream. Instead, remembering helps add fuel to the dream. What can I do that takes me back to that initial zeal I had at the beginning? That is the question to ask.

To use Christian terms, it’s time to remember the Spirit, the Spirit of God that led me to this vocation or this decision. Admittedly, it could be the evil spirit that led me here. In that case, change of direction is necessary. For most of us, the exercise of remembering the feeling, the motivation, or the seed of our current experience can be extraordinarily helpful in propelling us forward. Remembering is a form of discernment, a guiding light for what’s next in our lives.

Investigate some of our other Discernment Resources. Discernment is a life-long process and skill, regardless of age or state of life.

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Instrumental music by Kevin MacLeod