In Others’ Words: Living Life Unwrapped

small package quote 1.12.15

The Christmas season isn’t that far past — the time of giving and getting presents. Truth be told, I still have wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows waiting to be organized and put away until next year.

There’s something almost too lovely to touch about a present wrapped just so with coordinating paper and ribbons. But I’ll admit a partiality to the less than perfect gifts wrapped with just as much love, if not as much finesse. It doesn’t matter the size of the package — small, medium, or large — I know the giver was thinking of me as the wrapping was done.

And then there are the times I become wrapped up in myself. The me, myself, and I times … when my focus turns inward and stays there. How small I become at those times  when my vision goes no further than myself, when my concern stays firmly centered on what I need, what I want, even what I hope and pray for.

Small thinking. Small living. Small me.

May I live large … may we live large … offering ourselves to others in a way that allows the wrapping to be ripped off, the ribbons to be flung aside, and real life lived where we consider others more important than ourselves.

In Others’ Words: How do you live your life unwrapped — avoiding “small package” syndrome?


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  1. January 12, 2015, 8:39 am   /  Reply

    I had to think about this one for a bit, as it’s cold outside, and the hamster wants some hot chocolate before hopping onto the exercise wheel.

    There was a time when I would have agreed wholeheartedly with Rev. Fosdick, but now I am not so sure. It’s is attractive to live large, but in doing so,wemay lose a perspective we’re designed to have, and inward focus that defines our relationship with the Almighty, and our connection to the transcendent.

    Jesus recognized this in saying that we are to love our neighbor in the way we love oursleves; not less, but not more. Christianity is not (with the exception of some cloistered orders) a religion of selb-abnegating asceticism.

    It may be that we are made to be tiles designed for a specific place in God’s mosaic, and that our primary duty is in fact to keep the surface polished, the cement holding us in place intact, and the connections with the tiles around us secure.

    A tile may wish to stand on edge, to see more of the mosaic; but the function of that tile as part of the picture is thus lost.

    I can offer a practical analogy, to help the hameter, madly spinning on his wheel of thought, explain himself. It’s from my time spent as a competitive golfer. One of the earliest lessons I learned was “swing within yourself”.

    It was tempting, especially for a youth, to reach for the long, difficult, and flamboyant shot, and sometimes it paid off. But tournamnets were won by controlled, contained, and consistent shotmaking. Each swing was a tile in the mosaic that made up a winning round.

    • January 12, 2015, 11:32 am   /  Reply

      I agree with what you’re saying, Andrew. We have to know ourselves — who we are, who God has created us to be. But that’s not the same thing as being “wrapped up in ourselves,” at least to my thinking. Being wrapped up in myself is when it’s all about me — when life is so self-focused I don’t think about anyone else because it’s ALL about me: what I want, what I need, what I want to be or do or accomplish. That’s selfish and self-centered (which is probably the self-same thing.)

  2. January 12, 2015, 9:10 am   /  Reply

    As I read your post it got me thinking. We live interdependent lives. We may have a large scope of influence, or ours may be small. But within that scope, am I living for me, or am I living interconnected with others? I’m already seeing, as I contemplate my word for the year, that God is inviting me into others’ lives. To be available to others.

    I’m purposing to live my life unwrapped by speaking into other’s lives, by being available to things God prompts me to do, and by spending time connecting with Jesus each day.

    Great post, Beth!

    • January 12, 2015, 9:39 am   /  Reply

      Beautiful, Jeanne. The Hamster took five, and is applauding.

    • January 12, 2015, 11:33 am   /  Reply

      Love your perspective, Jeanne. God determines our sphere of influence — large or small — but within that sphere, our influence on others can be mighty.

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