Friday, March 13, 2009

Only You

The great Spanish Cellist, Pablo Casals once said:

"Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here."

I love that saying. It reminds me that no matter how tired I am, how frustrated or defeated I may feel, there is still something I am here to do. When God created me - and you- He had a purpose in mind. We are not here by casual accident, but rather by primary intent. There are things that can only be done by you. If you don't do it, it will go undone, and the world will be emptier for its absence. You might think you have nothing great to contribute. Perhaps your life is filled with mundane activities. Laundy, dishes, cooking, filing papers, entering data. I have those things in my life too. Those are not the things that make the difference. They may pay the bills and literally put food on our table, but they can be done by someone else."But I am not an artist, musician or writer. I have nothing of lasting value to contribute."That is an absolute lie.

Let me share a story with you.When I was in Kindergarten, we had a snack time. Usually it was juice and cookies or chips. One day there was no fruit juice available. There was only root beer. No offense, but I cannot tolerate even the smell of root beer. I would have to be half way through the desert with no end in sight before I would think of trying to consume it. Blech! and yuck! are the two words that come to mind when I think of root beer. Got the picture? Problem was, there was nothing available but root beer for the Kindergarten class. My momma taught me right, so when I was served a cup of this vile liquid (sorry) I refused it with a polite, if very unhappy "No, thank you." The teacher's assistant asked why I didn't want it, and I told her, that I just could not drink it. I didn't ask for anything else. I don't know where she got it from, but that sweet lady brought me a cup of fruit juice and quietly whispered in my ear not to let any of the other children know I had it.

I don't remember her name, but I can still remember what she made me feel like. She probably never had her fifteen minutes of fame, but her kindness has been indelibly recorded in my heart. She made me feel important, unique and worthy of a kindness. No one else could have one that for me the way she did that day.So what can you contribute? How about a smile? Everyone's got one of those to share. Maybe you can compliment an overworked cashier, read to a child, pay for a stranger's lunch, let your husband know how much you admire him, tell your wife she is the best thing since sliced bread. Sing in the church choir, take photos, record your family history, donate blood.Most of all, find out what it is only you can contribute to the world. Then do it.

1 comment:

  1. I love stories about "average" people who are not so average. And I love taking opportunities to bless someone who may be having a bad's a little bit of Jesus for their soul! You really never know how a smile might effect someone...or a helping hand for a this!