THE GIFT OF LIFE
AUTHOR – BILL TAYLOR
COPYRIGHT 2017 – BILL TAYLOR
PUBLISHED BY BILL TAYLOR AT Shakespir
Shakespir Edition, License Note
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Special thanks to Shila and Pragna for their encouragement and inspiration
Acknowledging The Gift And The Giver
When it comes to the subject matter of life, I have learned over time that you can’t experience the true value of “the gift” if you don’t acknowledge its gracious “Giver” in the process. The two are inseparable components if the desire is to “drink in” every drop of amazingness that resides in the early morning shadows of each unique day, waiting to be exposed incrementally for our delight and spiritual ingestion.
As our eyes open to greet life’s appearance, our expressed thankfulness verbalized to its Giver, is God’s invitation to once again journey with us in the most wonderful of adventures one can imagine as He reveals His purpose and plan for “the gift”. There’s always a divine reason we’re here that transcends our imaginations. While it’s not for us to create it, it is in our best interest to discover it! It all starts with a heartfelt acknowledging of both the Gift and the Giver, so with that in mind, let’s do a little acknowledging and while we’re at it, give praise where praise is due to an incredible young lady named Nikita, who as it turned out, was the reason my seventy year old eyes opened on Sunday morning.
Seventy Is Cool!
On Monday July 24th I turned seventy! Evidently there’s a rule that refusing to legally adhere to societies insistence that you wear a number, will land you in the hottest of water, so I complied. Sarcasm aside, I had an amazing weekend being spoiled rotten and loved to death by those who are closest to me!
For two days straight I was surrounded by the most amazing people, who all in their own ways reminded me in word and deed that it truly mattered to them that I was still here breathing on planet earth, and how life itself is in fact, a magnificent gift overflowing with divine potential to bless and be blessed.
The gifts and lovely comments from the well-wishers were plentiful and all much appreciated, but there was one that I must share with you good folks. It’s honestly far too beautiful to keep to myself. It was a card written by a young lady named Nikita, whose tender heart I admire and love beyond measure. I have no doubt that you’ll clearly understand my attraction after reading her words. Folks, meet Nikita.
“ Bill: Few people ever have the chance to meet one of their role models. Often role models are “untouchable” in some ways – like glamorous movie characters. Role models are also always achieving great feats such as saving the world or discovering cures for zombie diseases. In a way having role models such as these can make someone feel less inspired or unimportant. Knowing this, I feel compelled to tell you what a pleasure it is to be able to celebrate a birthday with one of my role models – You! Not only have I had the chance to meet you but I have the privilege to consider you family. You have taught me that compassion, understanding and above all, love for all, are just as important as saving the world. And that sometimes it’s the little things from the good guy that matter – like helping those in need on an individual level. Everyone wants to accomplish great things in their future that sometimes they forget to start with just today. Thank you for the unrelenting reminder of what it means to be a truly, genuine, good hearted person. My only problem is that not enough people have had the opportunity to change their lives the way my family and I have. But I’m lucky to have you as a role model as perhaps one day I can be for someone what you’ve been to me as well as many others, I’m sure. You are truly one of the greats Bill, as if you could do it any other way. As one would say, STAY GOLD. PS: I just had to comment on the irony of your name. Normally when people get a bill it only takes from them and leaves sadness. Thanks for taking the less travelled path by “bills” and giving to us, leaving joy!
Folks, can you even begin to imagine my difficulty factor in reading that out loud over dinner? To be perfectly clear and this is emphatically important for you to know: Not shared to boast, unless I boast in the heart of the writer and heaven’s altogether lovely one named Jesus, who motivates me to love as He loves because I love how He loves me.
It’s in doing so that I find my most satisfying joy. I am the “most blessed” in the exercise as was confirmed while reading Nikita’s card! She can’t possibly know how priceless that card is to me. As I told her: “She’d have to be me for that to be so”.
I’ve known Nikita since she was a little lady who seemed to enjoy jeans over dresses as a ten year old. I’ve seen her overcome many varied and difficult obstacles in her life with a “no quit” attitude that I frankly envy. Nikita is now a shockingly beautiful young lady with a heart that challenges her external loveliness. I believe that no matter “what” she does in her future, she will always bring “who” she is to the table of life and others will be abundantly blessed by her presence! Can you tell I’m a big fan?
So why share, apart from the obvious, the content of Nikita’s card and a little insight into the wonderful person she is? To provide a glowingly radiant example of what can transpire when amazing people are given a legitimate opportunity to blossom. If beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder, then I have beheld a caterpillar become a butterfly. That’s called getting paid by God folks! The visual is breathtaking! It’s also called “life” at its finest!
I think it’s due time I thanked Nikita for her permission to place her in the spotlight for a few minutes and hopefully you have had a taste of what I get to enjoy on a regular basis! Envying me would now be appropriate! This is what happens when you see people as God sees them!
I believe that beautiful expressions of the heart should be exposed to bless other hearts within their contextual confirmation that “Life Is Truly An Amazing Gift” and was meant to be lived as such! Let’s be radical extraverts when it comes to loving one another and watch God do what only He can. Miracles!
Life Isn’t A Job – It’s A Privilege!
How easily we can incorrectly see life as a job. If we are going to emulate the status quo, that will be the template for our viewpoint. Something to drag ourselves through while doing “the best we can” under the weight of our circumstances, type thinking. Perhaps even worse, it can be seen as a habit to be grudgingly endured! That’s not uncommon folks. Societal attitudes and its occupants of adherence will encourage you to see this incredible gift through the lens of that strangely warped illusionary approach.
Why strangely illusionary? Because none of us have a guarantee regarding tomorrow, so today is “the gift” and to be lived as its descriptive indicates. Imagine for a moment: Heaven longs to include us in its desires for other’s lives. To walk in that awareness won’t allow the intrusion of mundane beigeness to take hold of our hearts. Common and ordinary isn’t our heavenly calling. We’re to be atmosphere altering game changers.
The gift of an impactful life doesn’t reside sometime later. It’s right now! The gift is always in the immediate! We don’t, nor have ever had, the luxury of disposable days. Therefore life as a gift, is imparted on a daily basis and when embraced as such with thanksgiving, opens itself up to unlimited potential thus giving it its due and true value.
Attitude Changes Everything!
The singular most important dynamic that dictates the outcomes of our days is our attitudes. It’s the only thing we can truly control and “it” subsequently then controls everything else for better or worse!
I often find myself challenged by these spiritually healthy personal queries: If this is my “last day”, do I sincerely care that it counts as beneficial in another’s life? If these are my very last words to be spoken on planet earth, do I truly care that they be full of compassionate, grace, kindness, love, and caring, thus reflective of the heart of Jesus? How much do I want my “last day” to bring Him pleasure as it blesses others, knowing that it’s in the blessing of others that He derives His greatest pleasure from my life?
If that is the heart’s desire, I can guarantee, you will be blessed in return as the landscape of your life is transformed into all the colors of the rainbow, fluorescently!
Seen as a daunting task on the surface perhaps, but it’s far easier than you might believe when activated. You see it’s not really you doing it but rather Jesus doing it through you, as you daily present yourself as available. Availability qualifies according to God, not diplomas! When you think about it, how much education does it take to set aside yourself in order to love someone else appropriately? How much education do we think those early disciples had and yet they did quite well with the little they had to work with. They knew it wasn’t them doing it which is a key to success!
There’s A Reason & It Ain’t Me!
This is true: None of us are here by accident nor coincidence. God doesn’t work in the realm of happenstance. Therefore there’s always a reason for our presence, and a specific plan awaiting our voluntary inclusion! It will always involve people in need, thus the self-need for me to give my un-divided attention is of paramount importance.
When I see that truth with eyes wide open I soon realize this shocking reality: I’m not here for me! I’m here for the person standing next to me. Try to get society to wrap their heads around that concept, if you want a challenge of gargantuan proportion! That’s OK, we’re called to be different so different we should be!
Society has never been able to make that reversal of thought leap, so we can with confidence conclude that the status quo “it’s all about me” approach, while being popular, is backwards!
God Sees Life As Eternally Big!
Therefore so should we! To quantify “BIG” from heaven’s viewpoint one must start with the number “ONE”. “ONE” in the hands of a sovereign God has great value and never remains as “ONE”!
As a real life personal example allow me to quickly run you through one of the most life altering and revealing events in my seventy years and conclude, by connecting the event to Nikita. May it serve as a radiant display of how hugely magnificent the magnitude of God’s mind is and may it help to cause an explosion in our hearts as to how eternally BIG life is with all its complexities, within the context of God’s, established plans for our lives.
At forty years of age I had a nervous breakdown. The gory details have been shared in previous writings so no need to repeat them nor are they the point.
I was utterly lost in emotional “free fall” without a hopeful word from the medical world apart from a suggested full time residence in an institution on medication. Medication isn’t hope folks so I passed on the idea and waited to succumb, in what would likely be some strange manner, I surmised! But by the gracious intervention of God I returned to the land of the sane, more sane than before the breakdown, within three months! That just doesn’t happen in the “real world” when the person in question can barely remember his name for more than a few minutes, let alone anything more complicated like driving a car or answering a phone!
So, at the time what did I think the “reason” for my recovery was? God loved me that much, is what I believed. As I now know, that is only half true. The other half? God had me scheduled to meet a young lady named Nikita almost fifteen years later and to do so I’d have to be perfectly sane, because He loved HER “that much”, before she was born! Folks, when I was forty, Nikita was still five years from making her first appearance and God had sovereignly orchestrated and choreographed us to meet and chat and be a blessing to each other! How’s that for making LIFE ETERNALLY BIG!
As Nikita referenced in her card: “As well as many others”. That’s very true, but they are all ONES who will become much more than ones as they reach out to other ones in like manner.
In Losing Ourselves We Win
It’s in the giving of ourselves to others that we honor the true sacredness of life elevating it to its appropriate meant to be status. Freely allowing our love to be poured out generously and extravagantly makes life the amazing gift it is. To hoard such love only serves to make us small.
When we react to others as prescribed by Jesus, we become the benefactors of such spiritually radical behaviour. Once again, thank you Nikita! I find it interesting that Jesus said: “Those who give their lives away for My sake will never lose them”. How’s that for an oxymoron to navigate around. He knew of what He spoke, in that He did exactly that for us!
We are called to walk with a keen understanding that our lives are connected by God’s divine artistry and sovereign mastery and we are given the trusted privileged of playing an important role in His play. It’s His story folks and we are characters who have been graciously written into it by Him.
When we play our parts as they have been written, life reveals itself ever so clearly as the gift that it is. We move from the obvious to the glorious and in doing so experience God in all things pertaining to life. His constant inclusion is applied when our acknowledgement of being blessed causes us to become a perpetual blessing! It’s then that life explodes in all its magnificence and people like me get beautiful heartwarming birthday cards from amazing people like Nikita.
I believe that’s called seeing the fruits of your labors. Or as previously mentioned: PAY DAY!
Call life what it is and it will become what it’s supposed to be: An amazing gift dispensed on a daily basis to enjoy abundantly as we partner with heaven to bless God’s much valued creation!
Mark 6 – 38 & 41: “How many loaves do you have He asked?” “Go and see”. When they found out they said, “Five and two fish”. Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to His disciples to DISTRIBUTE to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all”. ( Five thousand plus, were fed that day! )
In the biblical story of the “fishes and loaves”, I so clearly see three dynamics in play to achieve the desired completion of the heavenly orchestrated equation. The young boy GAVE what little he had, our Lord then MULTIPLIED it, and the disciples then DISTRIBUTED it.
It’s interesting to note that Jesus, after the multiplying didn’t say, “Come and get it”. What He did say was, “Everyone find a place to sit on the grass and I’ll bring it to you, through my own”. Folks, He loves to involve us. He loves to make us matter! We are blessed beyond measure to be written into, His stories! Just imagine: Invited by Him to participate in His plans for others!
From the inception of the idea of writing books to be made available to “all freely”, there has never been a moment when I haven’t been aware of its ministry context. I could easily be seen as the “young boy” in the story. Jesus has most certainly multiplied my meager offering to Him.
So may I invite and encourage you to be a distributer of that which He has multiplied, thereby elevating “My Ministry” into “Our Ministry”, thus completing “His Ministry”. There’s something about that idea that sounds “perfect” to my heart!
We all have friends, family, work mates, school mates, etc. I’ve included a simple directional on “how to find” the “fishes and loaves”. Please feel free to share “what you eat” with others. You have no idea where it could lead to! That young boy’s mother could never have dreamed, what that little lunch she had prepared for her son on that fateful morning, would produce!
Thanks in advance. Bill Taylor
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