Monday, December 23, 2013

Why am I Here?

This question was recently asked by my cousin and friend (cousins by the good fortunes of birth, friends by choice). I suppose that it's a question that we all ask from time to time.

It could be that we find ourselves wondering about a particular situation that we find ourselves in (too often the case for me) or it could be a reflection of our impact (or lack of it) in the grand scheme of life in the Universe.

For me, the first is often the consequence of choices that I've made along the way. Not always bad choices; just choices that lead me to a place that I didn't expect to be and a place that leaves me to wonder, "Why am I here?"
The more colorful question is more like, "Where am I going and how did I get in this hand-basket?"

It seems to me that the situation events are pretty easy to figure out. On a small scale, we can deduce how we got to a place and even what our purpose in being there might be.

On the grand scale, "Why am I here?" presents a much greater challenge.

Truthfully, my insignificant existence has no bearing at all in the grand scope of the universe. But just as truthfully, it was never meant to. I know that we all want to do great things; to leave a name, a legacy that people will remember long after we are gone. Unfortunately, not many of us are created to do great things on the scale of universal significance.

It is also true that we are placed in positions of having subtle influence in the lives of those around us and often times, we are in a position to make significant impact in the life of an individual person. Whether a moment of subtle influence or significant impact, you may encounter that person today! You may in one moment be wondering, "Why am I here?" and in the next moment you encounter somebody in desperate need of a simple smile or a friendly gesture.

Maybe we need to be more aware of the opportunities that present themselves to us; more purposeful in our efforts to give meaning to our lives and a little joy to others. Perhaps we need to recognize and acknowledge the people that have made an impact on our lives; to thank them for simple smiles, the words of wisdom, and moments of comfort. It could be that we are the answer for the moments that they ask, "Why am I here?"

As I write this post, I can't help but think of the times sitting around my cousin's home singing songs or being entertained by music. I remember going to plays and musicals. And there have been more recent memories, too. Social networking has allowed me to reconnect with family and friends; allowed us to share our joys and our struggles; allowed us to rejoice together and to pray for one another; and given us an answer to the question, "Why am I here?"

John <><

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