By Rachel Rybicki
In times of reflection we often look to the past. We chide ourselves for the mistakes we made and commend ourselves for reaching goals or obtaining success. It’s so easy for us to regret the chances we didn’t take and the opportunities we missed out on. Likewise, we pat ourselves on the back when we show someone kindness. We sit back and wait and expectant as if are owed something in fair exchange.
In the past year however, I’ve come to realize something. Well more accurately, God has removed the proverbial blindfold form my eyes. Whether it be in the past, present or future, the only thing we seem to care about is ourselves; our sacrifices and our rewards. Through trial, error and a lot of humility, God has shown me that it is not about me. This life is not about me. Life, our purpose and journey in this world, is about other people, connections, impacting and listening. Life, love and happiness are not meant to be consumed, they are meant to be given; just as God has given to us.
The beautiful and crazy thing about God is that He never does or reveals things according to your plans. He has His own perfect ways and He is a God who knows us intimately. This means that God speaks to us only in ways that we can personally understand. He knows our hearts and how to take our fragile selves; breaking us open and tenderly pouring His Spirit into our brokenness. In this past year, that is what God has done for me. He broke me open and poured an abundance of humility and gratitude into me. I have been overflowing with thankfulness; leaving me in awe of what kindness can look like.
The truly euphoric part of this revelation is that it has nothing to do with my efforts or “goodness”. I was not being rewarded because of my good deeds; but because another person allowed God to work through them. This not only blessed me beyond words, but they were concurrently blessed as well.
Basically it comes down to this: This life is not about me and it’s not about you. It is about God’s will and Spirit working in us. What we need to do is take our eyes off ourselves, the good and the bad. We need to turn our attention to God, and to the people we come across day to day. After all, a mirror will only show you what you already know. What good can be gained for anyone if we are busy being lost in ourselves? That is why it is so important that we center our lives, not on our selves, but on the people we can connect with. It is when we focus our energy on God’s will that we are truly blessed and are able to bless others.
I’ve learned not to strive for the triumph of my desires; but I continually look for God’s desires for me. I promise you that God’s plans for your life are better than anything you could ever imagine. My favorite verse to emphasize why we need to trust in God, is Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you; to give you a hope and a future.”
Here’s my challenge for 2016: Instead of internalizing God’s promises, let us share His love! Let this year be a year of compassion, of serving, and of loving and sharing. Let the Lord never be our secret- but the good news we shout from the rooftops; the joy we can’t contain. I truly cannot imagine that anything makes God happier than the selfless love we have for one another.
Author Bio: Rachel is a nanny who spends her free time writing and trying to save the world. She knows the most important thing in this world is love- the love God has for us and the love we share with each other! Her passion in life is to bring hope to the hopeless.