There is a wonderful quote by C.S. Lewis that reminds us of the importance of keeping vision, direction and interests in your life.
“The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends. Where the truthful answer to the question “Do you see the same truth?” would be “I see nothing and I don’t care about the truth; I only want a Friend,” no Friendship can arise – though Affection of course may. There would be nothing for the Friendship to be about; and Friendship must be about something, even if it were only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travellers.”
So, what are you sharing and where are you going today? And who’s travelling alongside you?
“Friends voluntarily tie their hearts to one another.”
This beautiful quote from Tim Keller’s The Way of Wisdom reminded me just how important it is to invest in the people around me.
One of my goals for this year was to find ways to serve others. That doesn’t mean signing up for a rota or doing a few random good deeds. It means an intentional* shift in the way I think, the way I interact and the way I look around me. It means going out of my way to be there for my friends. It means sacrificing my time if needed so that others come first. It means making it a priority to check in with my friends; to find thoughtful actions or ways to make sure they know they are loved.
And it extends beyond my friends. Serving others is hugely rewarding, even when you don’t know them well. It is a privilege. The number of times in the last few weeks, people have served our new little family and when I’ve tried to express my huge gratitude, they’ve responded: ‘Are you kidding me?! It’s a privilege to be trusted and brought into your family.’
That mindset – that others can get deep and genuine joy from serving others and even consider it an honour, no matter how much of a stranger – still staggers me but I want to cultivate it. By serving others, we are serving the Lord; Jesus said when you serve others, you serve me (Matthew 25:35-40). Serving the Lord is what we were created to do, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it brings us joy!
As a start, I’ll try to check in on my friends more regularly, send more snail mail, try to say ‘yes’ more often and invite people round for a good meal that inspires community. From there, we’ll see how it goes!
*Apologies for the cringe-worthy Christianese but I felt it was appropriate here…
I used to be incredibly goal orientated. Truth is, I still am, but with a 2 month old baby, achieving those goals has become increasingly difficult – even the simple ones. I used to get so much done each day, let alone each week or month. I loved the focus and the sense of accomplishment.
Being a Mama has taught me so many new things. Some of those things are:
- the importance of being in the moment,
- that small, simple tasks can be a real achievement and
- that getting everything ticked off a list can’t be the source of my satisfaction.
June is half way through and we’re off on holiday next week so I’m looking ahead to July to some simple things that I’d like to do that are almost entirely centred on wellbeing:
- Drink 2 litres of water a day (with this bottle which makes drinking water surprisingly enjoyable!)
- Successfully plan friend’s hen do
- Do a Quiet Time every day, no matter how short
- Start a new book
- Consciously look for ways to serve others
- Review 6 month New Year goals
- Start Tae Bo
- Keep up to speed with CBT course
- Invite someone round for dinner and plan a really fun meal that gets me back in the kitchen (including aperitif!)
We will see how it goes!