You’ve probably heard some of these familiar sayings:
Last year was a rough one. Not terrible, just trying. Our family faced lots of challenges regarding work, health, and finances, and I’ve been hoping that things will be easier this year. But let me tell you about what God is teaching me right now, because there are some wonderful things that I have gained from these challenges.
Imagine if you could go back in time and relive any moment in your life. What decisions would you make differently? What specific moments would you enjoy again? With whom would you spend more time?
I recently watched a movie called About Time,1 where the men of a certain family had the ability to go back in time to correct mistakes or replay moments in their lives. I’m sure at times all of us wish we could have this ability. We could right any wrongs, change unwise decisions, or take our proverbial foot out of our mouth when we had said or done something awkward. We could also learn more about interesting people and topics and have multiple tries to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Some years ago there was a popular song about righting all the wrongs in the world. I don’t remember all the words, but the gist of it was “If I were king of the world, I would do things differently.” There would be no more war, or hate, or suffering, or any of the other evils that plague our planet.
When suffering a big loss or being overwhelmed by life’s obstacles, changes, and problems, it can almost seem impossible or hopeless to win—but this is when putting up a fight and giving it your best effort can result in a major, “impossible,” come-from-behind victory that changes history.
I don’t imagine that the word “spreadsheet” invokes excitement or joy in any but the most hardcore of office warriors. I know it sure doesn’t for me.
Nevertheless, this week I needed to overhaul one of our spreadsheets, adding functionality, such as a constant automatic tally of items gone out in a month, remaining stock, breakdown of item stock into various categories, etc. Oh joy!
When my father had me listen to Beethoven’s 6th Symphony1 for the first of many times, he was undoubtedly trying to impart to me his passion for classical music.
As a child, I loved to visit my grandmother Sabina’s small house in the mountains. Aunt Iota lived next door, so my sister and I would spend our days exploring with our cousins, going to the waterfall, swimming in the river that ran behind the property, or climbing the many mountains in the Mantigueira Ridge. It was heaven on earth for a city girl like me.
We all have many opportunities and possibilities to move forward in our faith, our relationships, our work, our inner lives, and more. Of course, making progress in any area requires determination, discipline, effort, sacrifice, and hard work, but the results are worth it.
In The Sound of Music1, the mother superior tells Fraulein Maria, the boisterous postulant nun, to leave the convent to help a motherless large family. When she protests, the abbess asks her, “What is the most important thing you have learned during your time in the abbey?” “To find out what is the will of God,” Maria replies, “and do it wholeheartedly.” And so she goes, albeit quite scared, to fulfill the greater purpose God had for her life and eventually find her happy ending.