I am learning that it is what I do and to whom that counts.
Let me explain.
I have a life to live, and so it is pretty obvious that I need to do things to survive. I need money to pay for my lifestyle, and so I need to keep working, to maintain my job. I have personal goals and dreams that I hope in Christ to attain in this life, and so I need to work hard at achieving them. This is life. This is what we all do, in our own ways, all very different but similar in that at the end, we are all concerned with the pursuit of happiness, whatever we determine that to be. Happiness may be something in the stomach, something to cover our heads, something to do that is challenging and inspiring, and someone to love. All things in the path called life.
It is what I do along this path called life that I am learning about.
Am I so caught up, that instead of picking up the phone and asking a friend if s/he is okay, I play out self-serving scenarios in my own head? Am I gracious enough to ask someone struggling with a goal, dream or plan how I can support him/her, or is it more convenient to talk behind his/her back of approaching failure? Do I forgive a person the same mistake over and over again, until I am simply unable to keep track, or do I prefer to imagine that I am being taken for a joke or a fool? Do I step out of my comfort zone to listen to, or speak with those looking forsaken, lost and angry, or is it none of my business? Do I care enough to give a needing friend some time to rant, or am I sighing because there goes my peace and sanity.
What do I do with what I have. Do I give thanks for what I have and imagine that this is how I determine that God is good to me? That He has given me things when others do not have, and when I do not deserve this? Or do I look at what He has given me, and see how I can extend it to others. Did He in fact, give me what He did, so that my mind may be clear of material worry, and more receptive to my neighbour’s needs? Can I see how food in my stomach, and consequent strength from this, may mean that I am able to do what I need to do when a neighbour needs me. Did He give gifts and talents so that I may use them to uplift, nourish and share with humanity, or am I just so Blessed to be able to get what I can for myself.
My role in life is to work to realize my goals and my dreams. I am to share in my humanity, and this means to fully participate with all those I have been given, and the others I am yet to find. I am to share by being there in whatever capacity I am needed, and when. I do not have to worry about my ego or self. I do not need to know whether I am making a fool of myself or not. It is not my job to figure out where my help begins, and where it should end. I am to only share in my humanity, fully participating in my brothers and sisters’ lives, in whatever capacity I am required.
God gives me my strength. He reveals Himself to me in my interaction with others. He shows His love through us. It is by what we tell ourselves and each other, the timely kind word, the non-judgmental face, and the generous smile. It is the unexpected meal, the surprise donation, house invite and time volunteer, that we share our humanity. We do not have to go out into the world and stand between trees and bulldozers, among others, to make differences in our lives.
It is the little things that we do that make the differences. Greet a stranger for you do not know if they have heard a human word all day. Smile at anyone whose eyes meet yours, for you do not know if they have seen anything humane all day. Allow an impatient person, give to a greedy person, forgive the one who seeks to make a fool of you. Allow yourself to trade your worldly and personal convictions for peace. Allow your mind to be free of judgments and dogma and trade in for love. Give up your pre-conceived notions about life and live.
My role in life is to live, not just do things to survive.