Henry David Thoreau wrote “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor”. Granted, this is a bit of hyperbole to make his point. However, it certainly does remind me that by pushing forward in life, my life can change. It is obvious to me, of course, that this effort cannot be sustained without God and the support (hopefully) of family and friends.
John Donne aptly wrote that “no man is an island”, and that certainly supports my argument. We are in this together. This becomes, of course, very obvious during the Christmas season. It seems we appreciate God and the presence (or memories) of loved ones more than ever at Christmas time. Dickens reminds us to keep Christmas in our hearts all year. We usually vow to do that. But the further we get from Christmas, the more the resolution(s) fade.
Those feelings of goodwill and charitable effort seem to evaporate. That is where I was at a little over a year ago. Then, after prayer, reading, and encouragement, I began to write and blog in earnest. My writing voice and direction in life seemed to be renewed as my steadfast effort continued. The signs of the impact of my effort on my own life were as obvious as a neatly harrowed field. The fruits of my effort and openness have been to heal past hurts, forgive, and move forward with love and joy. I even got brave and shared my sketches :-).
I don’t mean any of this as bragging or showing off. Rather, I am astonished (in retrospect) that just this simple effort and steadfastness made this much of a difference. I have become more and more aware of perhaps a countless number of people who are doing their able best to love, give, and make a difference. It comforts me greatly and counteracts the frequent negativity that is way too easy to find.
My amazement at the number of people trying to make a difference through their blogs moved me to action. That movement to action has, of course, been a constant in my own arsenal. That is what happens when you grow up in the times I grew up with the extended family and teachers I had. You give back. That was the reason I created the Candle Lighter Award. You can click the button on my header and: read about it; AND see the pull down boxes where you can click on multiple pages of award recipients.
So, if you are downhearted, discouraged, or feel like “the bad guys” and “negative guys” are winning, remember: light dispels darkness! We must strengthen our legs and continue the race. That is the least we can do for all the blessings God has given to each of us (and I know that somedays you really have to look hard to FIND a blessing)!