Most days I can look around and you would have no idea what I had accomplished. OK, most days I look around and I don't even know what I accomplished. I think most of us can say that.
When we measure life by what we accomplish than we will forever be disappointed, depressed, and unsatisfied with life.
Does what I say really matter?
Is what I am doing really making a difference?
Am I contributing anything to the betterment of mankind and the earth that God created and entrusted us with?
What am I doing with my life?
Does anyone see me? Does anyone hear me?
Almost exactly one year ago my husband and I were on Mackinaw Island with my parents at an adult retreat. They host this retreat once every three years and we get to stay in the grand hotel, and it is MARVELOUS! I spend three days digging out all my fun clothes, accessories, and jewelry that doesn't fit in my normal life, and I let it live in the fantasy of fancy. It's lovely, and romantic, and refreshing. (Paul just looked at me today and said, do we get to go back next year? No honey, two more years, but I feel the same way!)
Last year we took a bike ride around the island. Here's my folks.
And here's Paul and I. Yes we are on a tandem bike, its the romantic thing to do. (And lazy thing to do for the person on the back. Yea, that's me. I'm no fool, but the view is nice.)
On our way around the island, which is an 8.2 mile ride, we were talking, laughing and enjoying each others company. Then each of us individually were noticing these rock statues.
I remember seeing my first one, and thinking, "that's fun. Someone created a fun statue and its still standing."
Then we saw another one.
Which lead to dozens more.
It was beautiful. We all felt the same thing and stopped to take it in. For more than two miles the statues just kept showing up. Then we saw some folks building their own. Paul decided to do one too.
Some folks built their own. Others were adding to what previous artists started. They were continuing the project.
I don't know who started the rock project, but here is a small look at where it went and where it is going.
The horizon is filled and scattered with one idea transformed into hundreds of interpretations. I don't know if one person or one group of people started the rock project, but in its idea and execution, it inspired others to participate.
To be apart of something.
Mile after mile we saw these rock creations. Dozens turned into hundreds and then we stopped counting. We built our own. We added to others. We watched others stop in awe, take photo's. We listened as others talked about it. We witnessed dozens of others be moved to create their own. To be apart of the project.
To be apart of the idea, with their own creativity put in.
I'm not sure that the original creator(S) thought this would catch on as it has. Rumor has it (according to the web) that the rock project also exists on the east coast and in other countries along their coast.
One creative moment.
It's turned into island wide project, that went global.
I give and give and give. I pour out into my children and youth groups. I try my hardest to be there for friends in need. I talk and talk and talk, and wonder, truly if any of it matters.
I, like you, have no idea where my words and actions land. I can't control what memories of me my children will choose to hold onto. I have had people repeat my own words to me, and nothing is scarier to me than that. Hearing from them, what they gained of what I said or did.
We are creatures that pour out ourselves into others to strengthen life, but most often we have no idea about the effect of our pouring out. What result does it provide? Did it do anything?
A life is filled with small moments. The moments that make up the whole of our life. I think often times I am weighed down by the grand gestures, or looking at someones whole life instead of the moments that lead them there. This is how ridiculous it is. I saw the movie, "Social Network" and was struck by how one person changed the course of history. I thought, what I am doing with my life? I think of Mother Theresa whom I admire with the depth of my soul, and think, can I love and live like that? What about all my friends who travel the width of the world and are giving up everything to love and serve those in need. I see all these great and grand lives and I feel small. I wonder if what I do matters at all.
But I think of this huge art structure and how one person inspired hundreds by one moment.
This is the truth that we need to hold on to. It isn't in the grand scheme of life, but in the moments that make up our life. Those are the moments that inspire and change the course of history. When I pour out into the people around me, I will most likely never know what effect I had on their life. I will not know how God uses me to help, love, inspire, change others. Just as I can think of dozens of things others have said to me that have influenced my life, and they don't know that.
If I live for the grand idea of the whole of life, I will miss the moments I live in every day. The moments where I hold my kids tighter. When I can sit on my stoop and then neighbors start gathering and we start talking about life and faith. When my kids want to give money and pray for the homeless man on the street. When I pray over my children. When I talk to customer service and we have a nice chat and we both feel blessed by it. (not usually the case) When I can weep and share my burden with my mom and her encouragement and listening ear is when I can feel God sharing life with me.
I may not get to Haiti this year. Even putting that our there, I want to take it back. I am starting to cry already. Going to Haiti each year feels grand to me, and when I feel sad a little depressed about it, I have to remember, that I can serve, love, and pour into anyone and all people. They don't need to be half way around the world.
The important thing to remember is that we must pour out. To give. To love. To listen. To invest.
I believe compassion is mercy without judgement. Getting to know someone. Loving them for the sake of love and letting God take care of the rest.
Make your moments count.
You never know when loving someone catches on. When listening to someone becomes all the rage instead of giving advice, give your ear. Give your heart even if its scary. Give your honesty to yourself and be free from expectations that only you hold to yourself. Give your life to Christ and find the fulfillment of loosing yourself to one who loves you more than you thought possible.
To find this truth, one must pour out and live in the moment.
When we add up all the little things of life into the whole of life, that is when the picture becomes complete. We see all that our moments of our lives have made a difference.
Be encouraged today that God is working through you whether you believe in him or not, he believes in you.
God is in each moment.