I’ve been playing the electric bass guitar on the worship team at my church for about 3 years. One of the many things I enjoy about being on the worship team is the view I get from being on stage. It’s fun to look out and see the people in the audience and even the others on stage. And sometimes, I’m fortunate to see things other people don’t.
For example, last week during the service, we had a young family come up and read some Scripture as part of the fourth Sunday of Advent. The family consisted of mom, dad, and two young boys, who had to be about 4 and 7. They stood in front of me and to the right, not more than about 10 feet away.
Mom and dad each read a section of scripture before handing the microphone to the 7-year-old, who began reading his lines in a nervous young voice. As I was watching from behind, I noticed the dad place his hand on his oldest son’s shoulder in a gesture of support. As the boy began to read, the dad moved his hand and began gently scratching the boys back, to provide comfort and reassure him that he was doing just fine. It was a beautiful picture of a father being present. I’m grateful that I had a front row seat to this event… and I’m glad I noticed.
From an elderly husband holding a door open for his wife, to a reassuring touch to a child from a loving parent, to a heart-felt slap on the back from a good friend, these types of touching scenes are happening all around us, and they often go unnoticed.
I encourage you to keep your eyes open for these occurrences around you. Not only will it make you feel good, but may it also encourage us to go and do likewise to those we care about.
What do you want more of in your life? Maybe it’s peace or joy. Perhaps you’d like better health or more close relationships. Whatever it is that you want more of, get a picture of what that looks like, because you’re going to need that picture for the next paragraph.
Do you have that picture of what more of whatever you decided you want in your life looks like? Good! Now, today, take the first step, no matter how small, that causes that picture to become more of a reality in your life. Then tomorrow, take the next step, and likewise the day after that and beyond.
Without a change, we’ll continue getting more of the same, which can be good if you’re actively moving toward something you want. If, however, there’s something more you want, you’re only a few small steps away from heading in that direction.
Have you ever found the solution to a problem you’ve faced in the pages of a “How To” book, or as the result of a Google search? I have… many times!! I’m so grateful that the people who provided the content I’ve used to solve problems took the time to actually make it available in a book or online format. To them, I owe a long overdue “Thank you”.
It’s easy to take for granted all the content that is available to us to help navigate problems we face. However, the content we consume did not show up by accident. It’s all the result of people who have faced a problem, overcome it, and deciding to take the time to document what they’ve learned and make it available for others to use.
From other peoples’ experience, I’ve learned how to:
- Fix minor car issues
- Correct a shoulder injury
- Use software more effectively
- Write code for work
- Improve my electric bass playing techniques
- Cook new dishes
- Improve my health
- A zillion other things
So, I’d just like to take this week’s post to say, “Thank you” to all the people who share what they know with others. I’m grateful for your contribution.
One reason I think life is so interesting is that there is so much to learn and improve at. From our skills in the workplace, to hobbies and interests, to character improvements, to relational skills and even spiritual growth, we have a neve-ending source of areas where we can improve. And while I am energized by this thought, at times, I also find it rather frustrating.
The source of this frustration, for me, comes when the improvement happens slower than I would like. Yes, I know improvement takes time, but still, I often wish it came a little (or a lot!) quicker.
That’s why the following comment I read last week resonated so much with me. It said,
“We change not in giant leaps, but one small step at a time. Your have the rest of your life, so be patient with yourself.”
I love this statement because it reminds me that my real goal in life is continuous improvement versus being an unachievable form of perfect right now. It also reminds me that progress adds up over time. Therefore, if I’m a life-long learner, which I am, I’ve got a lifetime to get better.
That thought is a good antidote for alleviating my frustration at a perceived slow rate of progress. All I really need to do is continue making small steps forward.