Have you found joy in your life?
Has your life brought joy to others?Again, very forward and to the point.
I've got death on the brain, which amazingly brings me to life on the brain. It is a nice paradox to be certain, ironically. Some of you will totally get that, others will look at this post and declare me insane. Too often we forget about the implications our lives have on the lives of others.
Sometimes it is indeed the experiences that we experience. Walking down the aisle or across the stage or on the beach barefoot or across the finish line. Sometimes it is witnessing the paintbrush in nature's tapestry of the light show in the sky's technical display. Sometimes it is sitting back and enjoying the music and ambiance of the cityscape around us.
Other times it is significantly less impressive and involves hot cocoa and a favorite movie. Perhaps it is as simple as knowing that the meal you brought someone who thought the world around them had forgotten about them was less significant than the conversation about their story you were having with them. Laughing at the shenanigans your kids bring to the firehouse on the holidays. Or the laughter as the scary ghost story around the campfire turns incredibly hokey. Maybe it was just bringing together pieces of a puzzle that had been missing for a family you just met.
Laughter, tears, hugs, giggles, conversations through the wee hours of the morning, screaming show tunes at the top of your lungs...all things that can't be counted, but do indeed count for so much.
I am certain I will quit being philosophical and reflective soon. I am currently working on my FF letting me be part of history and have a story to tell my grandkids, but he's being all logical and stuff. Silly fireman.
I can never know for sure what joy I truly bring. I can only hope and pray that I do. Or perhaps I'll bring peace to someone in turmoil. Or happiness. Or comfort. Simply that I make some difference somewhere to someone.
So, as you begin 2014, keep those two questions in mind. Perhaps heaven is right here - with our loved ones. Perhaps heaven is what we make of what we are given here and now.