Maybe you should read this post in the evening…
“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.” ―
I feel like I need to write something uplifting. But there has been much suffering in my circles lately. How do I find something to encourage? How do I help others to get through these hard days?
- Random mass shootings
- Aging parents in hospice care
- Marriages coming apart
Today I heard the word “destiny” in a song lyric.
I wrote down some thoughts hastily – trying to put today’s suffering into a larger context, to give it some meaning. It helps me, the time I take to think about what’s happening before just reacting in fear and anger.
What is my destiny right now?
What am I supposed to be doing and saying TODAY? What actions could take my attentions away from self-pity, anger, fear, and focus on helping someone else who might be in the same boat? So often, bad situation can dump so much worry on my shoulders that I spend too much energy on the imagined cares of tomorrow. I’m missing what could and should be done right now.
What is my destiny day by day?
As I go on about my daily routines – do my job, so to speak, what am I really supposed to be accomplishing? This is when the tyranny of the urgent gets in the way. I end my week and discover that I can’t remember anything I did, at least anything worth remembering. I was rowing the boat but not sure where I was heading. Why did I waste so much effort and thought on what didn’t seem to last? I think about what kept me from sleeping at night, what I worried about. I can’t even remember a few weeks later what these torments were.
The danger here is that I’m going on about my business, so often in a hum-drum way – but bypassing what matters. Usually that means people get overlooked and unspoken to – at least in meaningful ways. Do you ever have to make conscious efforts to turn away from the screen and maintain eye contact with people who have interrupted you? I’m aware now that I need to be doing this more often, paying better attention to people.
“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” ―
What is my long-term destiny?
What are your big life plans? Don’t you have career goals all mapped out? Do you remember earlier in life when you started thinking about the turns your life was going to make as you moved from one stage to the next? I spend time with college students and we talk about these kinds of big future dreams. I must confess, I don’t do enough mentoring about making significant differences with the future. Mostly we talk about dreams, education and goals. As I looked back at all my students over the past 25 plus years, I wish I had used some of my own long-term experiences to give some wise counsel about dedicating one’s life to things that matter most.
“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I am living for, in detail, ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.” ―
What about my destiny over my lifetime?
Over the course of my entire life, what will I have lived for? This is the place where people wonder what gets written on their tombstones or read at their memorial services. At my wife’s memorial service I thought it was a wonderful testimony to who she was – I also thought she would be very embarrassed by all the kindness. Typically our self-talk is too negative. We need to hear the truth from others more consistently so that we have an accurate picture of who we really are. Do you ever take the time to tell the truth to people in your life? What are you doing right now, today, that will slowly add up and become the story they tell about you one day? We are all writing ours right this minute.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ―
What’s your eternal destiny?
Survey’s tell us that young people don’t think too much about the end of their lives. That’s one reason why their auto insurance rates are so much higher. We were organizing a prayer list and had several names of people struggling with life and death health issues. People who were our age (many in the room were grandparents) had concerns about their own aging parents. In this group we begin to think about the sum total of our days. Or at least who’s going to inherit all the junk in my garage?
“All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.”
I was speaking with a colleague about heaven. In the history of the world, life was so uncertain, life expectancy short, disaster around every corner – heaven was very necessary. I told him that in our day, health insurance, long life, retirement plans and air conditioning makes heaven less an everyday thought.
Do you ever think about what will happen to you when you die? What’s your destiny? Is this all there is?
“To make the improving of our own character our central aim is hardly the highest kind of goodness. True goodness forgets itself and goes out to do the right thing for no other reason than that it is right.” — Lesslie Newbigin
Your destiny is going to happen today. All those little decisions you make turn into who and how you are becoming. The people in your life, those you love and even some you don’t know, need you to be that person of destiny. Your life is contributing to the destiny of others. Awaken and be aware of each step you take into that future.
4 thoughts on “What Is My Destiny?”
“Your destiny is going to happen today.”
What wise and true words. “Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.” (Matt 6:34)… So why worry about tomorrow?
But we just can’t help it can we? The cares of this world yapping at our heels like a pack of stray dogs.
I wish I thought about Heaven more, would make the present a little less burdensome! Great blog post!
Me too! Thank you for the reminder.