Miracles, Mortals and Mosquitoes
I felt inspired after seeing Daniel Day-Lewis' intimate portrayal of Lincoln. The central message I took away was also in another movie directed by Steven Spielberg, Schindler's List. Both of these illustrate the difference one person can make. Each man answered life's call in the affirmative, and when he did, the results were nothing short of miraculous.
What is your take on miracles? This was how Albert Einstein saw it: "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle."
With the perspective of time, it's clear that both Lincoln and Schindler were heroes; and once that word is used, it's tempting to think that only certain people are called to greatness. That's why it's important to see them as great men who were also flawed -- flawed and called anyway, to fulfill a certain mission, with the odds stacked against them. We can learn from how they responded to what life was requiring of them: they acted as if they could make a difference. How absurd! And how inspiring.
Each of us, while flawed, is called to greatness. Some great acts get recorded in history; others are only written in the hearts of those who know us or whom we encounter. This brings to mind another movie, one that you can find on any TV channel from now until Christmas: Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. It may be easier to think of the people who have made a difference in your life, yet the reverse is also true. If you were never born, the lives of others would not be the same.
As mere mortals living in the world, we witness terrible things. Last week's tragedy in Newtown, CT, was a devastating example. While so much is beyond our control, we must remain alert to the individual promptings life gives us to make a difference for one person or for many. We are mortals who can participate in the miraculous if we open to it. Like Lincoln, Schindler and other heroes, we must act as if we can make a difference.
This Week's Call To Action: During these holiday weeks, take some time to reflect on the difference that individuals have made in your life this year and know that you, too, have made a difference in others' lives, perhaps some more than you know. You've most certainly made a difference in mine.
"If you think you're too small to be effective,
Happy Holidays to you and your family.
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