Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Ultimate Gift


The Ultimate Gift


It didn’t just dawn on me. In a way, I guess I’ve realized it all along, but never in this way. Isn’t it like that sometimes? We notice little things throughout life here and there, then one day they all kind of come together and there’s a larger realization. That is what I’m talking about here.

We come into this world a gift. We are a gift to our parents, our families, our friends, even to the world. Everything we experience from the moment we are born is a gift. As infants, most are gifted with the initial constant watchful care and unconditional love of a mother and father. Then, as we grow up, life brings many, many gifts our way. Sometimes we view these gifts as good, bad or ugly, but they are still gifts.

Everything we encounter in life seems to have some kind of purpose. With the benefit of many years behind us, we look at life differently. We realize that each situation we’ve dealt with has helped us in some way.There are some that refuse to see and hear, and therefore they cannot learn and grow. Some may even become bitter, resentful and hard, but there are purposes we encounter in life that are also gifts.

The weak may actually be the strong, and the strong may be the weak. It’s just in how we view it. For example, it isn’t easy to be ridiculed, made fun of, taken for granted. It takes a strong person to allow it, realizing that the problem is not with them, but with the other person. The strong may perpetrate sorrow, anger and hurt to others and believe they are the strong ones. It’s harder to receive than to give – and the weak become the strong when they receive the hurt with grace. All of these lessons are gifted to us.

There is a narrow road to travel. It’s a difficult road, full of potholes, crazy turns, some ridiculously steep hills, and down slopes. But this road enriches you and makes you whole. It teaches you the lessons that life was meant to teach. It causes you to see, hear and grow. This too is a gift.

Often we overlook the small gifts. For example, we can take for granted the laughter of a child, the smell of a rose, the touch of a hand-- to name a few. We rarely appreciate bad things. Yet they are there to teach us also. Sometimes someone treats us, or someone we love with hard hearts. This teaches us patience and the realization that we have probably done the same in the past, and has developed a desire in us to do better next time.

Some of you will say that some are born into a dire situation—how can you call that a gift? Some things are hard to understand; such as the child born into a world of disease and starvation. This is a result of the greed that exists in this world. There truly is enough for everyone, it’s just that some people hoard it and expend other’s lives in return for more pleasantries of their own. This is why we have wars – but this was never the intention when life was given. The intention was the gift of love. For everyone!

There are some things that seem unnatural. For example, death – even though death is a fact of life. If you can receive it, death is actually the entrance into a spiritual life. Though our bodies die, our spirits live on. We were made to live forever, yet the life we now experience determines our outcome after death. So we must recognize this gift for what it truly is; an entrance into another, more perfect life.

More importantly, we must recognize the Giver of the gift of life!

Every breath you take, He has given, every move you make, He has known beforehand. There is nothing that takes Him by surprise. There is no reason to hide. He knows you. He loves you anyway, unconditionally- which is a miracle in itself.

All He requires is that you recognize and accept the Giver as the Ultimate Gift, that you learn the lessons on the way through life, and repent of anything that was borne short of love.

Carmen

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Living On Purpose

I sit in the quiet of my living room contemplating whether I should put some Christmas music on.

But there’s something in the quiet.

The treadmill of activities for the last 3 months furiously spiral in my mind, but as I watch...they come to a stop -- in slow motion.

Ahhhh...

I take a breath...

It’s good to stop.

It’s good to stop and reflect on what’s happening --

Because if you keep on going, you'll soon wonder how you got where you are!

Life can be lived on a tailwind

or

Life can be lived on purpose!

The tailwind of life whips you back and forth so that you cannot see clearly.

and you will lose sight.

You will forget what’s important, and live for the day.

And there's so much more to life.


 Here's what God says is important in Isaiah 42: 1-9

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will bring justice to the nations.

He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.

In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

This is what God the LORD says—
the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
who gives breath to its people,

and life to those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,

to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

“I am the LORD; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.

See, the former things have taken place,
and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
I announce them to you.”

Carmen