Somehow the entire month of August slipped by me without my getting a chance to post. Anything. At all. Thanks to an insanely busy schedule these past few weeks as we have prepared for the start of the football season (we broadcast high school games, among other things – more about that later), I am actually cheating a little on this post.
I’m sharing an article I wrote for The Town Messenger this past week. Here is the article in its entirety, as well as a link to the actual print publication itself. Enjoy.
Life is undoubtedly a crazy maze that can leave you standing dazed and confused about which end is up as you meet yourself coming and going. And that’s on a good day. Despite our best efforts to the contrary, we sometimes find ourselves staring straight into the eyes of circumstances we would have much rather avoided altogether. Good, bad or indifferent, life happens.
I found myself this week sitting across the table at Starbucks from an old friend, someone I have known since the sixth grade. Between the two of us lie some of life’s most heart-breaking tragedies and all the pain that goes along with them; but intertwined are enough laughter, tears, hugs and girl talk to hold it all (and us) together.
As she walks through the process of self-rediscovery after a divorce that left her as a single mom, I am reminded that while I have been feeling sorry for myself in certain areas of my own life lately, there are countless people around me whose lives are being turned upside down. Sometimes I just need to look around a little to be reminded that my little piece of the world is the only piece that revolves around me. I needed to see the bigger picture.
I needed to be brought back to the reality that my life, while far from perfect, is generally good, and that I am wonderfully blessed. It is unbelievably easy in this culture to filter every experience through the mindset of, “What’s in it for me? How does this affect me?”
We have become so finely tuned to approach life through self-indulgence that we don’t even recognize it anymore.
As my long-time friend and I reconnected over cinnamon coffee cake and our favorite fruity beverages, my focus was readjusted to be more in line with what I know to be right. God did not place me here for the sole purpose of getting the most out of life. Does He want us to enjoy the ride? Absolutely. He’s cool that way. But our ultimate destiny is to know Him and to make Him known. And we cannot do that unless we step outside ourselves once in a while and see what is happening around us.
This past week in Hutto, a friend received word that her brother, a Marine, was seriously injured in an incident in Afghanistan that claimed the life of his squad leader. Another family was devastated by a tragic fire that destroyed their home and by the loss of their husband and father. My heart aches for these families and others who are facing life-altering situations like addiction, abuse, jobless-ness, illness and a host of other issues. Sometimes life hurts.
The challenge this week? Take inventory of your blessings and the things and people you can be thankful for. Open your eyes to the life happening outside your own four walls. Find a way to make a positive impact on that life. Take a little time to step back and soak in the bigger picture. With its array of joys, sorrows, hopes, dreams, laughter, tears & fears, life really is a beautiful masterpiece.