Your Story Matters
The day after Christmas is often a day of rest for many. We have been running around, trying to make sure that everything is just right, that we have all the gifts we need for all the right people and that the meal and the decorations are just so.
Some experience post Christmas Depression though… a kinda let down after the flurry of activity. Then we have some where it is more than a little bit of a “let down” and it becomes a full blown case of Clinical Depression. In future posts, I will go into what qualifies as Clinical Depression but for today, we are going to keep it simple – you don’t want to do anything, nor do you want to get out of bed.
There are a lot of reasons for this but, again, let’s keep it simple – you are tired and the let down from full speed to full stop, has you questioning life and it’s meaning, not to mention whether you got the right gift for __________ and did they really like it or were they just being nice?
The truth is that none of that really matters – at all. What really matters is YOU and your story – aka as your life. Have you ever taken a moment to sit down and write down the things in your life that matter most to you? At the end of your life, will you worry about what you got for Aunt Joan or Uncle Bob and whether they liked it or were just being nice?
What will matter is did you love, fully?
Now let’s keep this simple. That means – 1st and foremost – did the people under your own roof know that you loved them, completely – with your words and actions? 2nd – Does your family know and feel love from you – whether that is your presence or your words, when distance is a challenge? 3rd – do the people you consider close friends, know that you love them, with your time, words and presence? These are the things that will matter at the end when your story is wrapping up – not stuff.
What will matter next is – Did you follow your calling? Did you do what you believe that you are called and gifted to do?
For some that will be a career path and for others it will be a raising a family, while working hard at a good job. Some will be called to the ministry and maybe write a book or two, while others are called to teach and change the lives of girls and boys for the better. Maybe a firefighter or policeman…maybe a soldier, sailor or airman… Or something entirely different.
Some people ask the question – how do I know what my calling is? And that is a question that needs to be answered… but often only by asking more questions. You knew it couldn’t be that easy… right?
First Question – What do you wake up thinking about, almost everyday?
Second – What do you believe, and maybe others have told you, that you are uniquely gifted to do?
Third – What do you enjoy doing, that you either do for free or would do for free if that was the only option?
Fourth – What brings you peace and since of accomplishment in your soul?
Fifth – What is it that you would regret not doing, if you were to die and it was left undone? I am not talking about something here that is just a moment, like a bucket list trip to Fiji or something like that. I am talking about a mission.
This is a big deal… I really want you to think about it.
And finally – did you bring the joy?
Many times in life, we are just going through the motions and we are not focused. We seem to have no purpose other than to get through the next day – regardless of whether it makes us happy or not. Have you ever been around the person who always seems so wrapped up in his own head that he never seems to have any fun – even though he tells you that he does?
I have been that guy.
I forgot what joy and real happiness was all about and didn’t laugh very much either. I would tell you that I was happy but you could not tell it from the outside. Then one day, I was driving with my wife, and I mentioned to her that she was laughing and joking more and that I really liked it. She smiled and went on to tell me that I was laughing and joking more and that my change in mood was contagious. She then went on to ask me why I was happier and laughing more. At first I didn’t know… couldn’t answer the question. She prodded at got me to think about it and then it hit me that I had been so wrapped up in the challenges of the organization that I run, The Warriors Refuge (www.thewarriorsrefuge.us), that I had no joy or peace.
But then I got to where I was able to let go of some things, hand off responsibilities and empower others and it set me free to laugh again and smile. I hadn’t realized it until my wife asked me the question.
Then I was reading a book, and the writer was talking about “bringing the joy”. That phrase caught my attention because it spoke of being intentional with your life and happiness. Now my intention is to bring the joy and lift others and by doing so, I am lifted as well. I am bringing the joy – finally.
And I hope you will too. May God richly bless you in this coming year.
And remember #YOURLIFEMATTERS