Santa, thanks for delivering a grateful heart.
As the carefully wrapped presents, piled high and deep are reduced into the separate piles of expelled boxes, wrapping paper, and then small collection of actual product, it is easy to think of what wasn’t received, what more we could desire, and how obsolete everything will be this time next year.
I take pause at the moment to instead focus on the long term blessings I enjoy and invite you to do the same.
1. Family: My parents are still alive and well. My marriage is intact, I get along well with all my siblings. Having a support group of people who love you is a fantastic gift that keeps giving. Having two friends who are solo from their children this morning due to visitation rights, I’m grateful to have my little brood together under one roof. I’m grateful my in-laws will be over for lunch this afternoon – a blessing I did not know was a blessing until speaking to my divorced friends who not only lost 50% of their time with their children in the separation and divorce but also found they became estranged to family-in-law they had hoped they had a deeper friendship and tie to.
2. Ability to pursue passion. Having a job is nice, it provides food and shelter. Having a career is better, you are able to build on your talents and feel some sense of security and longevity in being able to provide food and shelter to your family. But the real measure of success I believe is being able to pursue your passion in life, to influence others and see them (and you) grow and progress. Pursuing passion is something that has no retirement plan, does not focus on work in exchange for payment. It is reaching that higher calling and I’m on the path for the first time in my life and it feels wonderful.
Last night we YouTubed several very uplifting videos of discovered artists on Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent. The first two were of adults, late in life who pushed aside their passion in exchange for a regular paycheck into their late 40’s and 50’s. Paul Potts sold cellular phones but could sing angelic opera. The second is named Susan, I don’t recall her last name. She is a simple, funny, and I suspect good person, who cared for her mother for many years before appearing on stage and confidently pronouncing that she would be the next great star. The cameras recorded well the skeptical reactions of the audience and judges before she punched through the doubt cleanly with excellent vocal control, tone, and feeling. When she was done she marched off the stage as though she had proved her point and could now go home. They had to call her back on stage to vote, congratulate and move her along in the contest. Both performances were those rare moments in life where you see true Divine-dispelled talent in it’s purest form. Talent shared freely with humility, as though departing of a gift. And everyone participating leaves uplifted and blessed.
Thanks to the television show the artists were able to progress forward and learn, grow, and share even more. The real success story was to see the genuineness of the duo remain in tact. I’ve can only hope their feet remain planted in reality as fame and fortune move them forward to the masses. They finally found a way to pursue their passion full-time, sharing their talent with others! That is the “meaning” of life I believe.
The third story is of now 12-year-old Jackie Evacho who has been discovered early on and talks about ever since she was six she wanted to sing. Now with multiple public performances and produced albums under her wings, the world is at her bidding to help her pursue her passion.
I fall closer to the first two in the time table of my talent identification and beginning the path, where do you fall?
3. Freedom! To keep this blog short I’ll wrap up with something we all take for granted, freedom to be ourselves without the government oppressing our every move, decisions in schooling and career, worship and thought. I’ve placed my feet in many places across the globe over the past few years where this is not the reality and I’m always glad to come back home and clear US Immigration. That’s why our American flag will be flying in the frozen wind today.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!