Changing the World

We’ve all had thoughts or dreams of changing the world.  Perhaps we see ourselves giving this life-changing speech.  Perhaps we imagine ourselves negotiating peace treaties between hostile nations or writing books where we explain life lessons in ways people never thought.  It can feel like people are waiting to hear the right thing and if we could just figure out what, we’d be the one to make that difference.

The truth is that we can dream of making big changes all we want, but it all starts in our day-to-day life.  If I want to make this world we live in a better place, I need to start with that small fraction of the world that’s part of my day-to-day life.

It doesn’t have to be complicated: friendly smile to people I meet throughout the day, quality time with my spouse and children, uttering words of consolation or encouragement to someone in need, giving a meal to homeless person, etc.  The possibilities are endless.

In the grand scheme of things, it can seem insignificant.  However, if everyone tried to brighten the day of those they meet in their day-to-day life, this world could almost become a true paradise.  If we start living this Gospel charity in our own lives, our example can inspire others to do the same.  A simple act of kindness can go a long way.

Imagine how many mental health issues would disappear if we learned to treat others with their God-given dignity.

Be a light to your world today!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/15216811@N06/5004381056″>Trent as seen from Sardagna – IMG_7884</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The Long and Winding Road

It’s a fact of life that most things don’t come easily.  Whatever you want, you have to fight for it.   Sometimes you have to wait for circumstances to align themselves.  If we were to plan a future for ourselves, we’d make our goals easier to achieve than they actually are.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a straight path to follow, bathed in sunshine with the sweet chirping of birds and the tamed wildlife to keep us company?  It would… but our road is long, winding, often laden with risks, fog, and other uncertainties.

Looking back at my life, I see the long and winding road I’ve had to take to get to where I am today.  Although I wouldn’t be thrilled to go through it all over again, I wouldn’t want to go back and take a different road.  It made me then man I’ve become.  It brought me the many blessings for which I am thankful to God.

I look at the present and at what is to come, and there are circumstances in my life that are truly annoying and inconvenient.  I would prefer that they be different, but I know that God will lead me to a better and happier life.  I am reminded of these words from the prophet Jeremiah:  “I have not lost sight of my plan for you, the Lord says, and it is your welfare I have in mind, not your undoing; for you, too, I have a destiny and a hope.” (Jr 29:11)

Be a light to your world today!

Walking on Water

There’s something thrilling and nerve-wracking about taking great risks.  Life has thrown many curve balls in my life, particularly lately.  The turn of events has opened up a mountain of possibilities that make me want to climb it, and yet there remains the nagging thought that it could all turn out very badly in the end.  Managing feeling both afraid and excited at the same time is almost like being pulled in two directions like a wish-bone.  It feels like something’s going to give sooner or later.

All the great ones in history embraced daring risks in their life, without which they wouldn’t have left the legacy they have.  So why do we hold back?  We’re afraid to lose, to suffer, to pay dearly.

In my experience, it’s been important to find a happy medium between daring and cautious.  The daring part takes that leap off the cliff and trusts that the landing will end well, while the cautious part of us does everything it can to make the daring leap a success.

It’s like Peter walking on water towards Jesus.  The daring part of Peter is to walk on water trusting that Jesus wouldn’t tell him to just to let him sink and drown, while the cautious side of him needs to remain focused on Him and do everything that He tells him to do.  Along the way, the excitement in him fails and fear takes over when he loses his focus and begins to doubt.

I wish I had a fool-proof recipe to taking risks.  I don’t know how things will evolve from here, but I do know that I’m pushing through.  All I can say from experience is that if your gut instinct tells you that you need to take a certain path, then take it.  Stay close to God and trust that He will provide in time, even if it is at the last minute.  Do everything that you can do and He will take care of the rest.

Be a light to those around you today!