I wonder if I fully understand what defines me. I am not talking about the externals; those are obvious, or at least they should be. My curiosity centers on what is on the inside. Do I know? Have I seen? Whatever it is, does it reflect the values and priorities I hold most dear?
Across time there is a consistent indicator of what we hold closest to our heart; it is the things we show others when we are catching up. When visitors come to California, I find myself giving them a tour of the house and cabana. I may not think these are the most important things in my life, yet I want others to know how important family is to me and this is the tangible part of the equation. I do not think my motives are altogether pure. Yes, my goal was to provide. I also took care of myself along the way. Nothing particularly wrong with that, however it does make my self-definition less than pure.
I’m not the first. A king of old, “Hezekiah received the messengers warmly. He took them on a tour of his royal precincts, proudly showing them all his treasures: silver, gold, spices, expensive oils, all his weapons—everything out on display. There was nothing in his house or kingdom that Hezekiah didn't show them.” (Isaiah 39.2) He was proud. He was transparent. He defined himself by things that never last.
There is a way to redefine one’s self. It takes time and is difficult. By one’s actions, choices, and decisions we tell our souls what is important. Ironically, it is rarely the big decisions that change the paths we have set. It is the small decisions, usually taken when nobody is looking or cares, which tell the true story inside. By living in the moment, taking each opportunity as it comes, we begin a process of embracing the highest values. It is in giving ourselves to these values, in the moment, that our hearts begin to change from the inside out.
Today begins a new chapter.
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