“I am the light of the world.”
Every morning before the sun has made her shy debut in the East, I go out walking. This morning I watched a lone bicycle rider approach from a distance, his little front light flickering, exposing dangers on the road. I stood transfixed, watching his light carve out the right path for his tires to follow.
When the rider passed by, I continued my walk, pondering the notion of light. Jesus said that He was the light of the world, I thought to myself. Like the light on the bike, He showed us the right path; He showed us how to live. Why aren’t we living as He showed us how to live?
It’s hard to be Christlike. We have to put aside our egos. We have to love others. We have to forgive. We have to be of service to others. We have to put God first. We have to have faith in things unseen. It’s a tall order. Yet it’s the right path. It’s the safest path! I made a promise to renew my trust in God’s light. Just as I was lifting my prayer up to God, the sun peered over the horizon. The clouds blushed pink as the last of the stars surrendered to the early morning light. I slowed my pace and let my senses delight in the freshness of the new day. “I’ll let you be my light,” I said to God. “I’ll do my best to live the life you showed us how to live.”
I hope that today you will renew your trust in God’s light. I hope that like me, you will want to live as Christ showed us how to live. I hope too, that we will all love as He loved— with His whole heart.
“…a time to be born and a time to die…”
I’ve shared this quote before. It is so transformative that I share it again with you.
“You will lose everything. Your money, your power, your fame, your success, perhaps even your memories. Your looks will go. Loved ones will die. Your body will fall apart. Everything that seems permanent is impermanent and will be smashed. Experience will gradually, or not so gradually, strip away everything that it can strip away. Waking up means facing this reality with open eyes and no longer turning away.
But right now, we stand on sacred and holy ground, for that which will be lost has not yet been lost, and realizing this is the key to unspeakable joy. Whoever or whatever is in your life right now has not yet been taken away from you. This may sound trivial, obvious, like nothing, but really it is the key to everything, the why and how and wherefore of existence. Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude. Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar.”
— Jeff Foster
“Therefore encourage one another…”
~1 Thessalonians 5:11
Naysayers are everywhere. Tell them your dreams and they will immediately tell you that you can’t achieve them. Some will even tell you why you can’t achieve them, listing your shortcomings one by one. Or worse, some will regurgitate your past “failures” in gory details, reminding you in so many words, that in their humble opinion, you’re just a screw-up. It’s hard to find people who will tell you to go for your dreams, for dreams are precarious, nebulous and ephemeral. They make a lot of people nervous. The naysayers want you to pursue something solid and secure, something less silly or “out there.” But the truth is, there isn’t any security in life. So, why not go for what you want—what you love? You’ll be following God’s desire for you if you do.
Our dreams aren’t there by mistake. God put them there. He quietly nudges us to pursue what He’s telling us. It’s up to us ignore the naysayers and to pursue our dreams through the talents He gave us. And, it is up to us to avoid being a naysayer when someone shares their dreams with us. Instead of putting others down, let’s encourage others to pursue the dreams that God has whispered to them, no matter how silly, or out of reach, they may sound.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do,
so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.
“Are you sixty?” the young cashier asked me as she rang up my produce.
“I will be in a few weeks,” I answered.
She nodded. “It’s senior discount day, today,” she said and smiled. “Just trying to save you some money. Hope I didn’t insult you.”
“Not in the least,” I reassured her.”Why should I be insulted by looking my age?”
That’s been happening more and more; clerks asking me if I qualify as a senior. I look in the mirror and see the lines of age now mapping my face. But instead of wishing (or Botoxing) the lines away, I look at my face as a testament to the many years I’ve been blessed to live. But I don’t spend too much time looking back. I’m looking forward to the years I’ve yet to live. And I’m going to live them to the fullest.
No matter what stage of life you are in, live the life you want to live. Ignore the naysayers who tell you that you can’t have what you want. You can if you are willing to create it. Here’s one way to do that. Make a list of what you love. Then from that list make a list of what you love the most. Those are the things to put your time and energy into keeping or acquiring. Those are the things that will help you to live a life you won’t regret.
“…all things work together for good..”
Nothing is wasted. Not the mistakes you make. Not the time you spend chasing after dreams that never materialize. Not the diet you fail, the money you lose, or the relationships that end. Nothing. Everything is grist for the mill. God uses all of your experiences to shape you into the person He wants you to be. All you have to do is say “Yes!” to Him and surrender. Trust that all things will work to your good and to God’s glory.