Sometimes the best lessons in life… the ones that really hit home… come from simplistic sources. You watch good and wholesome lessons with your child in hopes that she will get something out of it and then low and behold it’s you that learns the greatest lesson. That’s what happened to me this week. It’s not a lesson that I haven’t heard before but it is a lesson that I needed to hear again.
Izzy loves VeggieTales (For those of you who have never heard of them before… It’s a christian children’s cartoon) and this week she took out of our Church library a Christmas episode called ‘It’s A Meaningful Life’. As you can probably guess by the title it is a child’s adaptation of the classic ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. I took the time to sit down and watch the whole thing with her yesterday and I came out the other side crying like a baby. Now before you laugh too hard at my slightly pathetic emotional upheaval let me explain the premise of the story and why it invoked such a meaningful and emotional response.
Larry the Cucumber (the main character) has hopes and dreams about leaving his hometown… about becoming a big football star and supposedly making something of his life. However his hopes are dashed when he misses the touchdown pass and gets injured in the process. He then ends up marrying his sweetheart, running his father’s toy train factory and having 3 kids… twin boys and an adopted girl. He loves his family but he cannot help but wonder and still think that his life would be better and have more purpose if he had just caught that pass. From there he takes a magical train ride and gets a glimpse of what his life… and the lives of those around him… would look if he had gotten his way. In his alternate reality he leaves the town, becomes rich… but still isn’t happy… never marries and because he never gets married his twins do not exist and his adopted daughter is never adopted. Through the whole process he learns that even though his life did not turn out the way he had originally planned it actually turned out better… because he had his family. He also learned that he had purpose, because even though it may have not looked like much on the outside, God was using him to make a difference in the lives of others. From just having his children, adopting his daughter, showing love by coaching football, employing people at his toy shop… it all meant something… it was all making a difference.
I know what you are thinking… nice story… but why was she crying?
So here’s my confession… I have totally felt like Larry. I have been at that place where I have thought… If Only? Or what can I really do to make a difference? Especially since my diagnosis, I have had times where I have struggled with self-worth. Where I look to Heaven and ask God what good am I really doing here?
So in watching this ‘Children’s Story’ I got a shot in the arm. God tapped me on the shoulder and helped me to see…. yet again… that I do have a plan… I do have a purpose. Yes, I have struggles, yes I may not be able to do what I once could do… but that’s ok. It does not lessen my purpose in life… it just changes it. My priorities shift (which actually isn’t a bad thing at all) but my purpose remains.
Ultimately, I believe that the whole reason for existence is to show God’s love to others. Whether it’s showing love to your neighbor, your teachers, your parents, your friends, your siblings, your spouse or your children. IT ALL MATTERS! And it really doesn’t need to be as complicated as we make it out to be sometimes. As humans we tend to feel that we will be satisfied with our lives ONLY if everything lines up the way we think it should… but in reality… time and time again… I have seen proof of a Creator in my life because it HASN’T lined up the way I have thought it should. That’s part of the reason why I love my Faith. My relationship with God assures me that I don’t have to be in the driver’s seat. If I would have been in the driver’s seat, I already know my life would be a mess. I love that I can trust that God knows the best for me. And it doesn’t matter what he leads me through… even if it’s hard… or practically impossible… I know He will bring me out on the other side STRONGER than I was going in.
Thank-you God for the simplistic shot in the arm…
I have a Plan… I have a Purpose…
I have a MEANINGFUL LIFE! ❤
Thank-you again for hearing my ‘right-sided’ heart on the matter…
PS. Don’t Forget… YOU too have a Plan and a Purpose! ❤
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)