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Have You Given Your Best…….Really?

We all desire more for our lives, do we not?  Of course we do.  And I am not speaking of material things.  That beautiful home sitting splendidly upon it’s well-landscaped acres or that luxury automobile or any other thing that we would simply love to have as perhaps a reward for our efforts?  These things are fine in their proper place.  But they are secondary really and most often a direct result of pursuing the passion that Life has placed in our spirit, of fulfilling our Destiny.  And it goes without saying that in order to realize our Destiny, we must give nothing less than our best.  No one could dispute this fact.  What I often take issue with is our perception of what our best is in today’s world.  What we deem as our best has become skewed because the emphasis is placed on that word “our”.  Allow me to explain what I mean, as best I know how.  Please indulge me for a time because I believe this will begin to make a degree of sense as we move along this avenue of thought.

Now I am sure you would agree that in order for one to move in the direction of their dreams and goals, the must be an exertion of some sort.  There must be effort put forth.  One cannot expect a harvest if one is not willing to first till the soil and then plant the seeds that will bring forth the crop expected.  But after the planting of the seed, there is more work required, yes?  Proper fertilization and aeration of the soil is needed. And those young seeds must be watered and special attention must be given there as well.  If there is too much water given, the crop will fail before it even gets started growing.  Too little water will bring about the same result.  You see, in order for that farmer to rule his land and enjoy its abundance, he must realize that he is first and foremost a servant to the very seeds he has planted.  In doing so, the farmer learns what it is to respect those things that are placed just below his feet, if you will.  He comes to realize that the very abundance he desires is brought about through a joint effort.  The farmer serves the seed and soil. His reward is that the seed and soil return the favor.  This makes sense, does it not?  It is only the wise husbandman who can appreciate the privilege of serving that will ever come to realize true abundance in the yearly harvest.  They give their best during the growing season to obtain their reward.  And the best they can give is their service to that which is outside of themselves.

The same concept applies in our own lives.  We may not be looking for a bumper crop of corn or wheat or soy beans, to be sure.  But just like the farmer, we want high yields from our lives.  So, we start in pursuit of goals and dreams and go after them doggedly and feeling that we are indeed giving it our best.  However, it seems that somewhere along the line in our world, we have forgotten what it means to truly give our best.  Giving our best means to embrace the idea of service to others.  It means to realize the importance of those around us and to appreciate the fact that to serve, to give of one’s self to others not only serves to prepare us for greatness in our own lives but of even greater significance, we learn that serving others is a privilege.  It is also an honor and one not be taken lightly.

And there may be some reading this who disagree and believe that the idea of serving others will provide the foundation on which to build up something truly magnificent is just foolishness.  To anyone with that mindset, I would encourage you to do two things.  The first item is to study your history.  It will bear out the truth of what is being written here.  It is only when the great kingdoms and nations of our world chose to forget what it meant to serve that those same kingdoms and nations laid themselves to ruin.  Here is the second suggestion I would have for this evening.  Give yourself the opportunity, the privilege of going out to serve others for a bit of time.  There are many ways to do such a thing.  Give a visit to a homeless shelter and help with the serving of food there.  And if you are particularly bold, spend a few moments with those who frequent there and learn from them.  If a person feels trust for you, they will share with you.  You might be quite surprised at what you may learn.  And my friend, perhaps what is the greatest thing is that you will feel your heart and spirit growing.  The growth you feel will be a direct result of serving those around you.  You may wonder who is the real beneficiary in this transaction of humanity.  Is it you benefitting or them?  I’ll let you in on a little secret here…..When it comes to serving others, it is a win-win, as the saying goes.

I should mention as well that homeless shelters is only one of the opportunities available to us all.  There are nursing homes where many of the folks are simply left behind.  To visit them and share your time with them, to serve them would bring honor to not only their heart but to your own spirit as well.  There are so many ways to serve and I could name many.  There are everyday ways to serve as well.  Do you recall that day when you noticed that elderly women struggling to get her coat on or having a difficult time with those grocery bags?  Yet another chance to serve, to bless and be blessed in return.   Do some investigating on your own and discover the avenues of service that are out there.

I suppose my intent here this evening is to cause us, you and I to reflect a bit and remember what the term  giving it our best” really means.  The best we can do is really all about the best we can give of ourselves, yes?  Just like the farmer, the best thing we can do to ensure an abundance in our lives is to give ourselves the gift of serving others.  My friends, give this idea thought and then act upon your thinking.  Trust me, when you begin giving your best, and I mean this in the true sense of the word, you will experience a growth as yet unknown to you.  And that growth within your spirit and your heart will pave the way to the true greatness that your Creator has waiting for you.

One other thing that I failed to mention?  Or perhaps I was just saving the best for last?  If we as a people can learn and practice the gift of service to others, do you realize we can change the world?  This is a truism, friends.  And that is power!  Hmmmmm……Now who would’ve thought that servants could wield the type of power that could change the world we live in?  Think about it, if you would.

I thank you once again for your indulgence as I tend to ramble at times and I thank you for your kind attention.  I do hope that the words here will be of benefit to you.  May the fullness of this day be yours to share.  Blessings to you and yours.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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The Seed

The young seed had lain dormant, deep within the fertile soil for what seemed an eternity.  Just lately however the rays of the sun had been quite busy, warming the soil and now something was happening.  There was a stirring within the young seed, something that was unfamiliar and very strange! Our youngster felt himself being drawn, almost pulled towards the surface.  It was both frightening and exciting, this feeling!  The warm, oh so warm soil surrounding him was so good!   But he felt a change coming about and that right soon.  The seed knew this because he was ever so close to the surface now.  What was up there, just beyond the soil?  “Oh”, said he. “Perhaps it isn’t really so important.  And this soil all around me is so comfortable, so warm!  It might be just as good to stay right here.  Probably so…..maybe….”.  As he was mulling this over, the pull of the Sun became more intense than ever, urging him to move upward and forward.  He was fearful of what was just beyond and he knew it.  But he also realized in his heart that he needed to know what lay out there and up there.  There really wasn’t any turning back now.  This is not to say that the seed did not look back.  He did, as do we all. And when he did, he said to all who could hear, “I cannot go back nor do I want to go back.  Something is waiting for me, calling to me from a higher place!”  With that said, he cast his vision upward once again and with one mighty push, he broke through the surface!

At the moment of his breakthrough, our young seed became a seedling.  Oh, and the light and the colours of this new world were beautiful!  He was so glad that he had kept pushing forward and upward.  And the Sun, the glorious Sun!  It was magnificent and he could feel Its’ power coursing through him now.  What our young friend was experiencing now was worth all the effort he had put forth.  Every bit of it and more!

As time progressed, the young seedling became a sapling and he continued to grow.  And during these periods of growth, he instinctively followed the Sun, always reaching upward and continually climbing higher.  For you see, he knew the Sun was the Source of his strength and his growth.  In only a few short years, this young maple tree stood an impressive fifty feet tall!  And his branches, full and heavy with leaves now provided comfort and shade to those below.  He further blessed the birds of the air by allowing them to rest and to nest in the security of his arms.

Now you may ask, “Well, what reward does this tree receive in return for all of this? What is in it for him?”  I will tell you in this writing that our mighty friend expects nothing in return.  And because of this, he receives much.  The Creator, the Sun rewards him with abundant strength and helps with his continued growth throughout life. He sends waters from the heavens to renew and refresh our beautiful friend as well.  I ask you, what greater blessing can be bestowed upon any one of us?

Once a tiny seed, this towering maple tree helps to sustain Life and in return, is sustained by Life.  Miraculous, isn’t it?  Oh, and silly me!  In the midst of all this, I failed to mention the name of our young seed, didn’t I?  His name is “Greatness”.  What a fantastic name, don’t you think?

My friend, are you aware that the seeds of Greatness lie dormant, deep within the fertile soil of your own heart?  You were born with them there. They are a gift from the Creator of all Life.  What is that you say?  You do not believe this?  If this is indeed how you feel, then do something for me and for yourself.  Gently place your hand over your heart.  Ever so gently now.  Be kind to yourself for often we have forgotten how to do this.  Now if you would, listen to your heart with your heart.  This is unfamiliar ground for most of us so it may take a few attempts.  Be patient here.  Now……wait!  There, there it is!  Do you hear it now?  What you are hearing, dear friend, are the seeds of your Greatness stirring softly within you.  You must water them now for they are quite thirsty after the long dry spell we have given them.

Now if you will permit me, I have just one more suggestion for you, yes?  If you are wise (and you are wiser than you know), let the Almighty Son warm the rich and fertile soil within your heart.  But you must ask and allow Him to do so.  Our Creator is polite and proper and will only enter an area if invited.  What will happen next is up to you!  And remember this as well…….The experience will undoubtably be frightening at times.  But it will also be very exciting!!  And so my friend, here we grow!  May you be blessed in your journey.

Authored by William J. Thompson, Jr.

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Filed under Midnight Musings