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Archive for December 25th, 2013

What makes ones life wonderful?

The other night I came into the bedroom to see hubby watching the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” … without me! So I climbed into the blankets, snuggled up against him, and we watched the last part together. Many years ago it was hubby who introduced this classic to me. And every year since, it has become a part of our Christmas season.

It is a story of looking back, looking at today and looking forward into the future (kind of like Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’). It is a story of hopelessness and of hope. It is a story of redemption.

The movie is focused on George, a man who had always wanted to travel the world. It also tells of his life’s impact on others, not by any one big thing that he did or accomplished, but just by living, and making choices (just like all of us).

In this movie we learn that George never did get to travel the world. He never followed his dream.

To many of us that seems like such a loss, like such a waste. Our society tells us that ‘we can do it’, that ‘if you can dream it you can achieve it’. Even within the Christian culture we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’ as well) often believe our dreams and passions are the ways that God reveals our purpose in life, and the outworking of the gifts and talents that He has created us with. When we think this way, we become very dependent on fulfilling our dreams, to accomplish a wonderful life.

But, is it in following our dreams that we can live the wonderful life?

For George, his realization of his wonderful life came from the blessing of seeing his life, as others saw it. He had indeed had a wonderful life. And his wonderful life came from the impact his own life had on all around him, not through his pursuit of his dreams, but through his care for others. And, in the end, they reciprocated … big time.

The final, and most beautiful reminder of what it is that makes a life wonderful life, is when George reads the inscription his angel-friend Clarence writes in a book for him, “Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has friends.”

It is not in achieving a dream that we have a wonderful (or, dare I say, wonderfilled) life, but in sharing our life with others who we can call friends.

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