This morning I came upon the following "wisdom" while reading in the book of 2 Corinthians. The apostle/teacher Paul was speaking to his friends who lived in the city of Corinth. He said, "I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!" (2 Corinthians 6:11-13 Message Translation)
I was particularly struck by the words, "your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way," and then a few words later, "live openly and expansively." As I pondered those words, I began asking myself some questions. I know that my life isn't small! It is of great value in many ways. But am I ever guilty of living it in a small way? Does my daily routine along with specific actions indicate a desire to live expansively? What would that mean? And what changes could I make that might reflect a genuine desire to live openly and expansively in a very BIG way?
Of course, I don't have answers for all of those questions, but as the day has unfolded, I've reflected on each of my actions and wondered if they show that I'm serious about living expansively or will simply be content to live in a small way. Here are some observations I've made today:
1) It is my sincere desire to be an person of encouragement to the people with whom I come in contact with as I go about my day. It often bothers me that since I retired my world is so small and there are days I interact with very few people. I decided that today my world would be expansive in that I would make an extra effort to interact positively with each person who crossed my path. My eyes would make contact more frequently. I would smile and find extra ways to show courtesy. I would initiate conversation in situations where it wasn't required, but wasn't intrusive either. THAT sort of action plan, I believe, is part of living expansively. Going out of your way, doing MORE than necessary not because you HAVE to, but because you WANT to.
2) At an eye doctor appointment this morning, I received irritating news once again. (Many of you remember my eye travails earlier this year.) It's back to glasses for at least two weeks. My first reaction was not a happy one, but I decided that was living in a small way, so I chose to live expansively instead. I have two very functional pairs of eyeglasses that are less than a year old, but for $78 dollars, I can buy two more pair. I have decided to go get two of most colorful, funkiest sets of eyeglasses that I can find and wear both proudly! One pair at a time, of course! LOL!
3) I left the eye doctor to go walk at my favorite spot along our riverfront. It was cloudy and had rained while I was at the doctor, but seemed to have stopped. I called Mr. B and asked him to check the radar. He said, "oh yeah, the rain's all gone." Of course, I got as far from my car as I possibly could and it began pouring. I got SOAKED. But this time, I didn't even have to think about it. I just started laughing and enjoying the moment. I was properly dressed. It was neither hot nor cold and I was so thankful that my city which has been dry and parched all summer was getting some lovely gentle rain.
Those are the things that come to mind. But wow, what fun to take a concept I read very early this morning and make it my goal to practice it for the rest of the day just to see what happens.
What about you? NONE of your lives are small. Everyone of you is unique and special. But are you living in a small way? Will you join me in living expansively? I promise - fun things will happen. You might even get soaked......................