I Still Believe
In June of 2020, I did a video and blog post about what I believe. Here is a short excerpt for that post:
I believe that while we don’t all have the same talents or opportunities, we all have free will and the ability to choose another path. If you don’t like the road your on, find a detour. If your current circumstance feels like a dead-end, find a new path. Do something different. Be the change you want to see in your life. Take whatever opportunities you do have to create new possibilities. Use your talents for good. Don’t settle for making ripples when you could make waves. (read the rest by clicking HERE).
In March of 2021, I had a vendor event which included an overnight stay away from home. One of my customs is watching a movie that my kids or husband wouldn’t enjoy watching with me (usually in the chick-flick genre). For that weekend though, I chose, “I Still Believe,” based on the Christian singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp’s story. Many tears were shed because the content is so relevant. Life lessons really are everywhere, if you are willing to see them.
1 Peter 1:3-7 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Faith is our foundation. The more secure it is, the better we can withstand trials. Even with a steadfast faith, we will face trials of many kinds (James 1:2-4). Going through these trials can make us stronger, deepen our faith, and empower us to share our story with others when they face difficulties. The refining of fine metals only occurs in the fire. The refining of our faith is much the same.
Very few musicians “make it big.” In one scene Jean-Luc tells Jeremy, “It’s not about making it. It’s about what you want to give people.” The movie places a great significance in the power of a story. Even if you should “make it big” in your profession, if you do nothing to give to others, you’ve accomplished nothing. We give of our time, resources, and talents. In many ways, giving has less to do with money and more to do with sacrifice and vulnerability. I am willing and able to cook and share meals with others. This involves a cost and time, but not neccessarily in a way that is disruptive. Delivery of that meal takes intentional thought and planning, making the time to not only deliver food, but to spend time visiting. It can’t be done in a rush or while running other errands. When I share any part of my story, I want to leave people with hope. When I listen to others tell their story, I pay attention in order to hear their message.
Each life touches many others. We may never see the impact we have on someone else. Someone is watching the way we show up and being inspired. You can react to situations with a reflex or respond to them with intention. The second takes more patience and practice. Our reach is beyond our imagination. Will the ripples of your actions be positive or negative? We don’t get to choose our circumstances, but we do choose our responses.
Our God is ever-present and all-knowing. He didn’t wind the world up and let it go. He is always near, waiting to hear from us, and giving us all we need. The God who created the universe knows my name, the very number of hairs on my head! (Matthew 10:26–31). While writing this, I came across an article that said, “the average human head has 100,000 hairs. There are approximately 7,660,000,000 people on the planet…. That’s 7.66 quadrillion hairs that God knows quite well.” (read the full article by clicking HERE).
Like so many things I hear, I had to look up the facts on this one. “Supernovae can briefly outshine entire galaxies and radiate more energy than our sun will in its entire lifetime.” (Source HERE). NASA’s website describes a supernova as “the “last hurrah” of a dying massive star.” (Source HERE). All loss is sad and every life is beautiful. Some make a great impact in a short period of time, others have a lasting impact through a full life.
We can probably all name several people who have had great influence in our lives. Perhaps a few outshine the rest. What did those people do that enlighten your path? What lessons did they teach? How can you honor their legacy? You may be that bright star for someone! Live in such a way that others will glorify God because of your good works. This doesn’t mean doing those good works for the attention of others, but so that you have an opportunity to point others to the Father. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:14-16a, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.“