I wonder if I would have exercised greater wisdom, made smarter decisions, or taken different paths if I knew what I know now when I was young and innocent. For example, would I have given up on my piano lessons? Even though the question is mute, I hold onto one hope; I would be less selfish now that I know.
It is far too easy to focus on what I would change now. I would pursue certain sports. I would train differently. I would sit at the feet of mentors instead of always trying to do it my way. Yet at the core, I do not think that much would change unless I tackled the “self” challenge. Life does not pivot on the normal points we focus on. One’s job is not near as important as what one does in the job. One’s status in the community is not near as important as the way one treats the relationships that fill one’s life. One’s success or failure measured by the world is not near as important as the role one plays in the life of one’s partner, family, friend’s lives, and greater community.
In hindsight, there are two facts. If I had heard God’s words between the lines, I would have discovered it was never about the outcomes, it was always about the process of getting there. God told me then, as now, that “if you had listened all along to what I told you, your life would have flowed full like a river, blessings rolling in like waves from the sea.” (Isaiah 48.18)
The window of opportunity is never closed; it can begin fresh again with each day! The core of the questions God presents to you and me is this; are with living for the community or for our self? I have repeatedly answered self. In doing so, I have chosen a path that is a hell of my own creation. God offers us, in this moment and time, an opportunity to experience heaven. It begins with community, compassion, and love. It begins now.
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