Unwrap the Gift

Have you ever wondered what your life would look like if it were made into a movie? Would you enjoy watching it? Or, would it cause you more pain than joy? I think everyone’s answers to these questions would vary significantly, but imagining one’s life as a hallmark movie brings another question to mind. Do you consider each day a gift? Life is very good at making us feel overwhelmed, maybe even resentful at times. It can place us on a rollercoaster and convince us that the tracks are going to end prematurely–sometimes it feels like they do. But, even in the midst of life’s chaos–the ups and downs we all must experience–it is extremely important to perceive each day as a special gift waiting to be unwrapped. Only then will we truly know if we are living each day to its fullest.

One of my relatives whom I loved very much taught me a special lesson with her life. Unfortunately, the lesson is contained in what she didn’t do–what she postponed until it was too late. This relative was very sociable, ambitious, and full of life. She wanted to seize life by the tail and extract all that she could from it. But, as life went on and problems arose in various aspects of her family, she began putting many things on hold. For instance, it was always her dream to go on a cruise. She saved up enough money and even bought a swimsuit and a formal in preparation. But, life happened and the swimsuit and formal never left the closet. Another dream of hers was to build a screened-in porch atop her deck in which she could relax in the mornings when the sun first peaked its head over the horizon. But, she never had it built–life went by and the deck remained unchanged. Eventually, the stress in her life caused her to have hypertension, a stroke, and then she passed away. She left this world with dreams that were never unwrapped and desires that were buried along side her in the ground.

The pain in this loved one’s life is forever stamped on my mind. Through her, I learned that, if we are not careful, life can pass us by and dreams can shrivel up. And what is life without dreams? Consider little children. They’re not afraid to dream, and dream big. They have untarnished vision–to them, life is a marvelous gift wrapped in glistening paper and it is up to us to tear the paper off. Why do we lose this point of view as we get older? Must we lose it? No. I think it’s important to perceive life through eyes of wonder, eyes of innocent awe. I believe that imagination is vital and dreams are our sails in this ocean called life. Will you dare to dream today? Will you unwrap with reckless abandon the gift that sits in front of you? I’m not saying it’s not risky, but read this quote–it might help you put things in perspective: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” ~William Shedd

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