I just finished reading the book "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Own Life," by Donald Miller for the SECOND time. It is a great read and I recommend it. The book is basically about telling good stories with our lives. The book really inspires me. This time reading it though, I started to frantically panic...."oh no! what if my life isn't telling a good story? What do I need to do to change it?" My heart's desire is to lead a life that tells a good story and I started panicking that perhaps I WASN'T....
I have a confession: I am a dreamer. a future-thinker. a schemer of impossible things. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, actually I think it is mostly a good thing. It is good to have vision. It is good to dream of impossible things. My future daydreams often involve saving the world, with me as the heroine, running through the jungles of Africa saving babies, and releasing the broken from bondage. Seriously. I was planning on making that reality too. The problem with thinking about the future all the time in so grand a way....is that it can make me feel like I am not telling a good story right now. I feel guilty for enjoying my family so much, having hot showers, living a typical American life. A more current dream is perhaps going back to grad school for counseling. Being so obsessed with future dreams is that it can breed discontent for the present or make you feel as if you are falling short. Living only for the future is chasing phantoms, because right now the dreams of the future do not exist.
Oh my Adoration. She has taught me so much. She has taught me to be PRESENT. She is not a phantom, she is living, breathing, and tangible. And she needs to be loved today. She needs me to be PRESENT.
I believe with all my heart that the question that will be asked at the end of our lives will be, "Did you learn to love?" Perhaps one day I will be living some grand expression of love....running through the jungles of Africa or bringing justice to modern-day slavery. And perhaps not.
All I know is that today I have a husband to love. A daughter to love. There is clerk at the grocery store checkout that could use a kind word. There are friends who are hurting. There are neighbors that are lonely. These are the ones in front of me today. To be present is to see the people around you, is to live out your dreams of who you want to be...today.
For me, it may be making time to play with my daughter, encourage my husband, give the kind word, clean the bathroom, say the hidden prayer for that hurting friend, finally get around to painting that painting. To live today the best of my ability, as quiet of a day as it may be.
Our stories are not written in our tomorrow's, they are written in our today's.
Today is Febuary 9th, 2011.
Today, I have kissed my husband.
Today, I played with my daughter, met her needs and gave her my love.
Today, I wrote a letter to a hurting friend.
Today, I scrubbed the toilet.
Today, I am learning to love. Today, I am writing a beautiful story.