Tag Archive | important

Skipping Stones

At some level we all want to know we are important. The truth is that actions and words can have a ripple effect we don’t know about and that can impact the world for centuries to come. It’s hard to live in that reality that one person is important. That no person is ever unimportant.

Some people are a force to be reckoned with. When you think of people in the public eye, their good (or bad) deeds are seen by many and have a ripple effect. When we hear of their deaths, (rest in peace Andy Griffith), we mourn as if we knew them.

But we didn’t.

me with burlap to cashmere
I got all fangirlish seeing a band I loved from way back. They were gracious enough to let me get my photo taken with them. (Thanks Burlap to Cashmere! You guys RAWK!). The fact is though, they gave me an hour of pleasure in watching them exercise their God-given gifts. Then I go back to my life and they go home. They don’t know me and won’t remember me and while I will always appreciate their music, I don’t really know them beyond what I can read on-line. I don’t know their favorite color or what makes them laugh or what their biggest fears are.

As I reflected on this it hit me that we do this to people whose gifts we appreciate. And while they share the gospel in song, they aren’t saving lives or fighting for our freedoms.

But no one is more important than anyone else. 

I’m nothing special. I suspect I would be missed more for what I do than for who I am when the time comes. Because much like the guys in a band, most of you really don’t know me. And maybe that’s good. I’m pretty open and honest about what I like and don’t so if you follow me here or my fan page on Facebook, you’ll get a pretty good clue. But even then you won’t know the deep hurts that resonate within me day after day. And in reality, you probably don’t care. You have your own hurts to hold. And social media is not the place to always share those darker corners of our souls.

Image courtesy of njaj / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of njaj / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In some ways I resemble a skipping stone. Smooth on the outside. Maybe even flat (they skip better I hear). God tosses me out on the lake of humanity and I touch and leave ripples, skip and repeat and eventually, plop. Down I go to sink beneath the surface as if I never appeared. Maybe that skip was a blog post, or a one-on-one for counseling, a class I taught or sending a contract for a book. But then you move on with your life and I move on with mine, sinking under the water.

Blub. Blub. Blub.

And the only way I can resurface is when God reaches down to pull me back out again and cast me where he wants me to go. There for a moment and then gone, hopefully touching lives for the better but always sinking in the end.

Some people are blessed. God has gifted them with another human being, a spouse or a closer-than-a-brother friend to celebrate or commiserate with the skips. Someone who validates that even after the ripples fade, that yes, they had been there and made a wave. I hope that a band like Burlap to Cashmere have close relationships within that group to get them through the lonely moments of life. I hope you do too. In the meantime I’ll just keep letting God drag me up from the bottom of whatever lake he’s skipped me across and let him toss me again and trust that somehow, in the sea of time, I make a difference. Even if no one else notices. And that that difference pleased my Creator.

In the meantime, maybe you’ll be blessed by this band and their classic hit from 1998 performed at a live concert earlier this summer.

 

It’s a Wonderful Life Even When It Isn’t

A depressed George Bailey.

A depressed George Bailey.

Depression sucks.

So I referenced It’s A Wonderful Life in my title. Here’s why. I dislike that movie. Ironically when it first came out it did poorly at the box office. It didn’t even break even financially. In the film world, it was a dud.

I hate a movie that became a Christmas classic. The reason is that poor George had dreams and he gave them up. He had waited and saved and held a carrot out in front of him and it was snatched ruthlessly from his grip when he was on the cusp of reaching his dream.

This man’s suicide attempt didn’t just happen when money was lost and he was going to be arrested for a fraud he never committed. No. It came when he gave up his dreams.

Yes, he was noble and responsible and he sacrificed it all at the altar of everyone else’s dreams and needs and then ended up getting screwed in the end anyway. (Yes, I know it ends happily but come on, he got the raw end of a deal from Mr. Potter). So he did what he was supposed to do. All the right things. And it still left him empty.

Grab a tissue.

Maybe I relate too closely to George Bailey. Maybe the reason the movie is now a classic is that at some level, we all relate.

Who among us gets everything we dreamed of

and longed for out of this life?

Making a difference in the lives of others is the silver lining in this tale. Was George the richest man in town though because his friends came through for him? I mean, sure, he avoids prison, but does it really fill that hole deep inside?

At the heart of depression is a feeling of worthlessness. Even more than that is a sense of helplessness. George Bailey had, in many ways, let life make choices for him. Sometimes, when depressed, a person can’t even see the choices that might be out there. Yes, George made some good choices and impacted the lives of many. In the alternate universe only the negative was highlighted though. Does one person’s life really make that much of a difference?

A depressed person can’t see that their life makes a difference. No matter what anyone tells them, the message is blocked by the words and lies of others planted early on that say otherwise. After all, shouldn’t those people closest to us and have known us the best speak truth when they tell us no one will ever love us? Or that we aren’t pretty enough? Or smart enough? Or important enough?

“In 900 years of time and space

I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.”

Doctor Who

Yeah, I’m quoting a fictional character. Get over it. The fact of the matter is, even the shyest among us wants to be considered important. That’s why we want to the object of someone’s love. Or have a BFF. Or be the best at whatever it is we do. Because somehow that means our existence is validated.

Andy Andrews wrote a book called The Butterfly Effect that illustrates the importance of one life and the millions of lives one person can impact over generations.

It’s hard to see with that kind of vision when one is in a deep pit smothered in a thick woolen blanket. And the world around is farting in your face.

The real tightrope is our identity in Christ. I am his favorite child. The favorite of all the people He created like me . . . because there is only one me. But He has other favorites too. You are His favorite you. With a unique fingerprint, DNA, gifts, personality and life experiences, no one else is like you.

And God didn’t put us here to wander. He’s given us a purpose and a unique identity in Him. So I am the best. Whether the world around me wants to acknowledge that or not. I am the best me there is. I’m not perfect, but I’m growing and changing and sometimes that is painful.

But even if the world around me cannot convince me of my worth, this should: Jesus died so I could have a relationship with Him. He is my best friend and the only one who can really validate my existence. I may not see the impact or have a Clarence to show me, but I can trust the keeper of the stars to let me know when the time is right, that my life, even the low points, were still used by Him for His glory.

 

 

 

Fact or Fiction?: Cherie: A Forgettable Tale

“Have you found it yet, Mommy?”

“No, I haven’t” said Cherie in frustration.

“Do you remember where you last had it?”

“If I did remember, I would not be having a problem, or asked you to help me search.”

“But Mommy,” asked the precocious six year old, “how did you lose it in the first place?”

“Again, I do not remember, Dear.”

“But, you remember me and Daddy, right?”

“Yes.”

“And you remember your friends?”

“True.”

“So what is it you have forgotten?”

“Everything else.”

“Mom!”

“Okay, I forget birthdays and to pick up milk at the grocery store. Things like that.”

“But you never forget to pick me up.”

“True.”

“So why is it important to find. You seem okay to me.”

“Because I used to remember everything, and I can’t anymore! I desperately need to find my memory!”

“Maybe you are trying to stuff too much stuff into your head,” giggled the little girl.

Cherie smiled, “Maybe so.”

“But Momma, you never forget the really important stuff.”

“Tell me that when you are missing your snack in tomorrow’s lunch. I seem to have forgotten your yogurt!”

“Oh, Mom! I love you anyway – don’t forget that!”

“I won’t, Honey. I won’t.  Cherie bent down to give her daughter a hug, totally forgetting what she had been looking for.