Are you too busy looking towards what’s next to appreciate where you are today? This week, regular 4word contributor Stacy Repult asks us to take our eyes off the future and spend some time looking around us instead. If you’re goal driven like me, this can be a real challenge. Stacy’s words this week are a great reminder to me to be thankful for where I am, even as I move towards some big changes in my career. I hope that her message inspires you too, no matter what you may have on the horizon. – Diane
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When I went to Exeter for grad school back in my mid-20s, I experienced something very simple that ended up having a lasting impact on me. It taught me the value of embracing my current situation just as it is, wherever it is at present.
Exeter is in Devon, England and home of the most beautiful countryside I have ever seen. The graduate student flats were perched on top of a hill at the edge of campus, from where you could see out to the surrounding Devonshire countryside. The view was genuinely breathtaking. Looking out over those seemingly endless rolling hills, I couldn’t wait to get out into the midst of it all and experience it firsthand. So I hopped on my little red scooter and drove and drove…..far up into the countryside toward the amazing landscape I had seen. Finally I pulled over and thought, “This is going to be wonderful. I can’t wait to take a long walk in these beautiful hills and finally enjoy them!” But much to my surprise, when I turned around to search for the campus where I had started, I saw the graduate flats sitting smack in the middle of the most beautiful rolling hills. Those hills were exactly like the ones I had just driven miles to find. I had been there all along.
Over the years since, I’ve often recalled that little experience. It always brings to mind just how easy it is for me to be in a situation at work or otherwise that I want to change, move past and make better. And if I let it, this desire to move forward past whatever circumstances I’m in can prevent me from fully embracing the purpose and opportunities of my here and now.
Today is going to be gone tomorrow. So while it’s great to want to work on improving things and striving for growth and what may come tomorrow, I don’t want to miss the beauty of the only day I really have, today.
I believe we have the ability to choose to see the good that exists in the here and now, even in the toughest of circumstances. And in so doing, we embrace the gift of today and find nuggets of goodness along the way.
A few years ago there was a little old man I used to pass by on the way to work every day. Slightly hunched over, he was walking on the sidewalk by himself with a cane in his hand and a huge smile on his face. He waved to each car passing by, emphatically calling out to them, “Have a great day!” It was clear how he was choosing to view his life’s situation. He could have taken the view that his life’s purpose was done or he was too old to make a difference in this world and should just sit on the couch. Instead, he was embracing and finding opportunities to not only enjoy today, but to help others enjoy it as well.
There we were all driving to work, tired with stress and worries on our minds, and yet he left us all smiling as we waved back to him. He demonstrated the ability to embrace the beauty of today at that moment. The rest of the day was up to us.
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it (Psalms 118:24).
What can you choose to embrace and enjoy today?
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