If we have the privilege of growing older, we have more to contend with. More experiences, more feelings, more joy and sometimes sorrow. More. If we’re lucky, we get more. It’s up to us how we choose to live in whatever our “more” may be.
The news of famed musician, Prince, passing has rocked our world. His music, for many including myself, has been woven into the soundtrack of our lives. Hearing his music brings us back to a moment in time and sparks vivid memories of what it felt like to live in that space with Prince’s music pumping through our own sonic highways. Because so many of us felt connected to his music, we felt connected to him. And, though we may be weary in his passing, the legacy he left us in his music and so much more will live on and inspire people forever.
As Americans, we often have, in my humble opinion, an obsession and inflated view of what it is to be famous. From enormous talents like Prince to reality stars with virtually no known talent, we tune in to see what they’re doing and saying and wearing and driving and the list goes on. But, underneath it all, they’re just like you and me. Some of their circumstances are better than ours, but many of them are worse. Because, when you break it all down, they’re human just like you and me.
I’m not interested in what family you were born into or the side of the highway you live on or who you rub elbows with. No, I’m interested in who people really are at their hearts center and what they’re doing with what God’s given them. To use the gifts we’ve been so blessed with by our Creator shapes our divine purpose. To live in alignment with God’s purpose is to really live fulfilled in God’s plan for our lives here on earth.
Although I didn’t know Prince personally, I bet he would have played his music if it made him no money at all. It was a part of him, a gift, something he’d been granted “more” of. Luckily, we were the recipients. And, that’s how it goes. When God gives you a gift and you use it in a way that magnifies Him, well, others benefit, too.
Times like these should give us pause to think about what our “more” is. Would it be more time working or more time laughing or more time in your craft or more time volunteering or more time loving well those who love you. Think about what your “more” is and get busy using it for the benefit of those who share in this life experience with you. Life is precious and short. For goodness sake, let’s live it out loud. Why, you ask? Because you, yea YOU, have a a song to sing, to be heard and to be celebrated.
My Mom has a theory she uses for pretty much everyone. “People are generally doing the best they can.” Now, there’s a lot of grey area in that statement because “best” is somewhat relative. But, boy, does it ever help me rationalize my behavior and others behavior, too.
The truth is that our best is constantly in flux. Like our mood or the way we feel, it’s always changing. If you’re having dinner with me and I’ve had a rockin’ day, odds are I’ll be totally present and lots of fun. But, if my day has been a real stinker and I feel bad and a little beat, odds are I won’t be very present or fun. But, whatever the case may be, I’ll bring my best. It just looks different from day to day, hour to hour, minute to minute.
Insert grace here. There’s no true predictor of what our mood or effort or demeanor will be like because we can’t predict the future. We just navigate the best we can and do the best we can. And, the people in our lives that matter will totally get it and give us the grace we need in the moment. In fact, we just might be the one giving them grace. As life abs and flows, so does our “best.”
Sometimes, I overcommit myself. Just kidding, one given is that I almost always overcommit myself. And, sometimes, I’m just not feeling it even though I gladly committed to it. I’m learning that I not only need to give and receive grace from others in moments when my “best” isn’t what my idea “best” is. I’m also learning to give myself the same grace if not more. All too often we hold ourselves to standards that are way too high. As a result, we feel defeated by it, never reaching the standard we’ve set.
But, not anymore. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. I’m striving to be my best and do my best, but I’m also giving myself the grace I so desperately need when I don’t meet the expectations of others or myself. Just writing this gives me some sort of permission to just BE. What an enormous relief. Monday, bring it!
Friends, I hope his little epiphany will serve you, too. I know that like me, you’re out there hustling, doing the best you can. And, whatever your best looks like, you deserve praise for it. It takes courage to get out of bed each day and LIVE. But, if God is gracious enough to give us the chance to live another day of life, let’s feel worthy of it, present in it, enjoying life as it naturally ebbs and flows.