The theme of my life this year (or I suppose, so far) has been: Happiness, gratitude, and relationships.
I have been documenting my life — through (1) photos on a weekly/monthly basis, focussing on the people around me and one-to-one relationships I have with each person on weekly basis via my (2) calendar events, and learning to be grateful for the different friendship/strangers around me each day via my (3) gratitude journal.
A friend once told me that we never know when we encounter “angels” and that they are “very real” and on Earth. That’s a discussion for a different day — there are (apparently) more than 3 dimensions. Many more. I digress. But my point is, every encounter we have was meant to be. I recently listened to a podcast by Tim Keller on how “we plan our course of life, but God plans our steps.” I thought that was really unique. Here’s some perspective: Each moment of your life – or, my life, in this case – has been meant to be. Some might say this is fluff, but the more I think about it, it is so true.
Sometimes as I write in my gratitude journal, I ponder about how lucky I am to have encountered “such and such” or “so and so”. This is not to contradict the mentality that our success is the outcome of how hard or smart we work — well… maybe it is. Here’s some more perspective: Taking a step back, look at any given day in life. Your hard work, your success, your achievements, your happiness (at that moment in time), etc. could all just vanish. *poof* There are so many aspects of live we cannot control, yet we believe we can. Such “Acts of God” (ex. weather-related events) are beyond our control and sometimes it seems “unfair” why certain events happen. Think: floods, earthquakes, missing airplanes, and other mishaps. Combine that with the first thought, we really have no control.
You can extend this discussion to explore the ideas of owning your success and the confidence individuals gain from that feeling of owning their success. Some might think this is be all, end all. That’s not to say the psychology around that isn’t necessarily true, but I challenge you to push those ideas. Here’s a last perspective: I heard this from a Tim Keller podcast as well. It goes something like this: “God gives you what you would have asked for if you knew what He knew.” To me, that is really powerful.
I know that my duty on Earth — my temporary time here (average lifespan of a female in Canada: 85 years old?) — is to live a life that is glorifying to him and to serve Him. How? I’m not exactly sure, in the long run. But whatever it is, I know that whatever I am doing right now is preparing me for that. I am not always right — in my thoughts, my actions, my words. But I know the people around me, the words I read, and what I expose myself to/am expose to (i.e. my experiences) are constantly moulding me. I know I have faults, but I am ok with them.
I am not perfect. (Neither are you 😉 ) Thank you to those around me who continue to mould me. I am constantly reminded to humbly learn; oftentimes, from you.