Have you ever felt envious of other’s good fortune? Or maybe longed for a different life? Perhaps you have become restless where you are, but no matter how hard you try to escape, God keeps you planted in that neighborhood?
I must confess this has been my experience of late. And so, I find myself really relating to characters like George Bailey in “Its a Wonderful Life”. Over the past several months, several of my dearest friends have shared with me the news that they are either moving or retiring. I am feeling very much left behind these days….or so it seems.
So what are the tricks or tips for finding new horizons while staying at home?
Shall I join a health club or check out some books to discover new day trips around DC? Perhaps…but then, I think what really is needed is just a change of heart and to do this may require me to turn some of my very religious training upside down. Each of us, in our own way, have learned certain rituals or practices of humility and certainly we are called to be humble, but I think sometimes our constant shirking off of praise ebbs away at our realization that through the grace of God we have accomplished great things!…that we are in fact having an impact on the world!…that we are not invisible but instead highly valued by many….that life is in fact exciting right in our own backyard.
And so the first step to seeing new horizons, is to see ourselves with new eyes…to realize and take pride in our accomplishments knowing that before we can give love to the world we must first love ourselves. As Jesus taught:
“….love your neighbor as yourself” Luke 10:27
Learning to love and appreciate ourselves can change or energize our hearts to reach out to others.
We may not have the advantage of a visiting angel, like George Bailey, but take a moment this week to feel proud of your own accomplishments. Yes, give God the glory, but realize that in order to become a more visible light to the world, we must first see the divine spark within ourselves. Begin to see God’s gift of abundance all around us.
Hear the voice of the angel Gabriel speak these words to you personally:
“Fear not, _______________________, for you have found favor with God”
Really hear those words spoken to your heart and let them breath new life into your soul. And realize when you do, you are working to build-up the body of Christ.
“My successes are not my own. The way to them was prepared by others. The fruit of my labors is not my own: for I am preparing the way for the achievements of another. Nor are my failures my own. They may spring from the failure of another, but they are also compensated for by another’s achievement.” Thomas Merton
“…speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, this is Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4: 15-16
“No Man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continet, apart of the main.” John Donne
Enjoy this final scene when George Bailey realizes he has a wonderful life, and let it open your eyes to the abundant nature of God’s blessings in your life.
Dear Lord, Help us this week to see your many blessings…the people who have mentored us…the strength you have provided through the difficult times…help us to see more clearly the distance we have traveled and the progress we have made…and in so doing, let us see that we are currently living in the land of new horizons.
Yes we need a little Christmas:))
Hark the Herald Angels Sing! Glory to the New Born King!
p.s. I would like to highly recommend Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. If you haven’t already read this book, it is a great tool to understanding yourself and those around you. The idea of it is that we all have different ways of understanding love: Affirmation, Gifts, Service, Quality Time and Touch. While this is a practical guide for re-focusing our marriages, it is also a wonderful way to discover greater intimacy in any of our relationships including ourselves!
Here is the link for the singles quiz
I offer it only as a guide to thinking more broadly than our spouses. (You don’t have to be single to take it:)) When you discover your primary love language…get creative and think of how you can put into practice ways to love yourself…send yourself a gift…more positive self talk….quality time for yourself to explore a dream…or even a pedicure…you get the idea. Do something this week to give yourself a lift so that you may then shine a greater light in God’s kingdom and look to all the rich abundance God has blessed you!