This morning, to fulfill my goal of reading something outside of my “norm”, I read a letter written by a lady who, along with her family, traveled back to her 95 year old grandfather’s village in India. She writes of her resentment of the missionaries that led her parents to Christ which led them to emigrate to America. She supposes that the emigration was to “find Jesus” but she also acknowledges that they most likely emigrated to escape the caste system that had relegated her family to the lower tiers of their community for generations. In spite of the reasons for her parents’ eventual move to the U.S., she sees the move as her parents turning their backs on their native country. She is angry.
In her letter she talks of how the family follows their grandfather as he takes them through the village pointing out the streets where he was once forbidden to walk as a child as he was considered an “untouchable” and to the fields wherein he worked as a child. I feel her surprise and hear a touch of awe in her voice as she writes, “Gramps said this without any trace of bitterness—like it wouldn’t even occur to him to be angry at the indignities he suffered as a child.”
After looking at the world through her grandfather’s eyes, her voice and attitude changes. She writes, “Perhaps…perhaps I could live my own mindful life. Perhaps, I could follow the melody where it leads, get lost in the shadows, occasionally surprised by the voice of God…”
I love her statement…perhaps…
What would our world look like if each of us lived “mindfully”? How do we even do it? I don’t think that it requires us to fill up a calendar box with so many infinitesimal tasks that the ink dribbles onto the tabletop. I think it simply requires us to sit and reflect upon our lives and decide what we want our lives to look like. At the end of our days on this earth what do we want our lives to have meant?
After a bit of reflection, I have decided I want to:
- Be sure to make time for those I love. I want them to know that I am available when they need/want to talk or just want me to listen.
- Create. Whether that be from behind the sewing machine, sitting before the easel or turning soil in the garden I want to produce something useful to the body, pleasurable to the eyes and is good for the soul.
- Learn something new each day.
- Be fearless in the face of challenges or when trying something new.
- Maintain an attitude of thankfulness.
- Have a peace-filled home and heart.
- Look expectantly toward the future.
- Be an encourager to others.
I DO have my calendar out and at the ready. I HAVE set my goals for 2019. However, I remember that Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
With that verse in mind and as I attempt to live a more mindful life, I will also wait to be “surprised by the voice of God”.