Last week, I experienced two events – one was routine (my birthday) and the other was extra special (my daughter, Justus, had her first child!).

As I walked through these two events, it caused me to reflect on my life. You can pause right here and hum the song, “Circle of Life” in your head, if you’d like to. These normal occurrences caused me to reflect … What are the things that make a life really worth living?

Some psychologists say that what a person really needs to thrive in life are:

  • to love and be loved
  • to have a purpose

So back to the birthday - at this stage of the game I’d rather they just pass right by unnoticed. However, I must admit that it was sweetly humbling to see the number of friends and family who took time to honor me with their gifts of words, time and things. There were the usual social media “Happy Birthday, Sylvia”. But, those who took more time to reflect upon their relationship with me or to express their feelings were really special and important.

I had two great dinners with my people and some completely awesome gifts!! As I looked around the table at the ones I love and the ones who love me, I realized again how blessed I am.

Then, three days later, Scarlette was born! Now that’s something to live for! To see your children having children gives you a sense of mortality and perspective. And, once again, I wondered about the purpose of my life and the ripple effect it has upon others.

I definitely love and am loved. I work at a purposeful job that I believe I am called to do. But I ask myself (and God), “Am I doing all that I was created to do?”

The Bible tells us that each of us was designed in God’s image, that He planned our lives before we were even born, and we were made for His pleasure and glory.

Revelation 4:11 says, “Our Lord and God! You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power. You made all things. Everything existed and was made because you wanted it.” (ERV)

You and I are special and were created with a purpose. Most of us will never make it into history books, be widely known, or have statues or monuments in remembrance of our lives. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that the life we are living is unimportant.

The lives you touch with your words and actions are extremely important. I don’t think we fully grasp the extent of how powerfully we can impact those around us – from strangers to acquaintances to those most dear to us.

A kind word, a favor, or wisdom and compassion given in love can change the very environment you operate within. You have the power to alter the course of a person’s day, or life.

Jesus taught us how to do this by how He loved people. He loved thieves, prostitutes, tax collectors, diseased people, poor people, children and His followers and friends. He loved people who were devoted to Him and those who were different from Him. He even loved difficult and dangerous people.

And His love is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago when He walked the earth. Because we are loved by Him, we are called to love like Him.

The New Testament of the Bible contains 59 "one another" verses that teach us how to love. Some of these include “forgive one another”, “serve one another”, “honor one another” and “bear one another’s burdens”.

In this way, with those close to us and those we encounter each day, we begin to live a life with purpose that God created us for. Then, we can see and feel that we are living a life worth living.

Sylvia Gaston is the director of Children's Ministry at Koinonia Church. Any comments can be sent to: sylvia@kchanford.com.

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