Waking Up to A Beautiful Life

Life gives us numerous opportunities to begin again. The problem is not in the abundance of opportunity it is in our lack of imagination and in our failure to recognize opportunity. When we fail we tend to become discouraged. It is possible to give up on your life. It isn’t hard to find people who have done just exactly that. If you get knocked down enough times--it’s easy to just quit.

Discouragement can be a deep trap. Have you ever found yourself in the pit of deep discouragement? If you have you know what I’m talking about. Every direction you look seems to be a dead end. Everything you try seems to fail. After a while you just want to stop trying.

Trouble never shows up alone; it usually brings several of its friends with it. When faced with numerous catastrophes one after another it can begin to feel like the whole world is against you. How do you turn around difficult situations and keep your hope and faith in tact when it seems like everything is conspiring against you?

There are times in life that require slogging. Slogging times are when you focus on just putting one foot in front of the other. There is a lot of mud in your path and you just have to put on your boots and take one step at a time.

But I’ve found that while you’re slogging through the stuff in your path it is a good time to imagine what you’d rather be doing. If you don’t like where you’re at right now, where would you rather be and why? What brought you to where you are? Are there different choices you would make? Do you have any control over what’s going on or are certain things outside of your control? Are you sure about that? Sometimes we are caught up in things outside of our control—like someone slamming into your car. Other times we are paying the consequences of our own mistakes. Either way we have to make it through.

Having a Divine imagination is a wonderful gift. It is something that I have to ask for. When I have run out of possibilities about life, I need a little help from above. God wants to help me create something beautiful with my life. Earth school is full of lessons. What I do with my trying times helps to determine what I am building in my life.

Hardship can develop compassion, which can be used to serve others in similar situations. Or not. Depending what I do with the difficulties I encounter I could just end up with disappointment and bitterness. Handicaps, devastating loss, divorce, financial bankruptcy, disaster, and anything else life can throw at you can either be the basis for character development and growth or it can cripple and embitter you.

Faith and trust are not tested during the good times in life. Anyone can thrive during prosperity. But walking through the flames is what burns off everything that no longer serves us. The story of Job has come to represent a life of loss and restoration. To me, the greatest lesson in the story of Job is that when everything is gone and nothing remains, God is still there, and “He” is enough.

This has been true in my own life. No matter how devastating the loss, no matter how alone I have felt, no matter how hopeless things seemed, God was still there. At the lowest point when I saw nothing but darkness, when I cried out to God, Spirit was there to surround me with love and protect me from darkness. It is the prayer that God always answers.

Spirit is always present to help me imagine a bigger, richer, fuller, more connected life. As my imagination grows, the quality of my life grows. As I allow Spirit more control of my life, my ministry and service to others grows. As I spend time with God, my love for the Creator and all of Creation grows bigger. I can look forward to an ever expanding, ever more beautiful future.

A beautiful life is not dependent on circumstances although at first glimpse it can seem to be. It is dependent on a growing relationship of trust and faith in God. An indwelling Spirit keeps me dreaming of a more and more beautiful life and I can know in my heart that I am beautiful in God’s eyes. So are you.