Yesterday I was looking through the past 5 years of photos on my iPad with my granddaughter which is always a rollicking good time. As I listen to her giggle at seeing herself as an infant and toddler, I find myself wondering how much I have changed in that time. Ever the one seeking self-improvement, I begin to wonder have I improved? At all? In any aspect of life? I start going down the checklist. Do I know more? Am I smarter? Have better people skills? Am I wiser? Have more understanding? Compassion? Am I a better wife? Parent? Sister? Friend? Realtor? Am I healthier? More physically fit? And then I start to panic. What has this past 5 years gotten me. Nothing? Was it all for nothing?
Then I was in the shower this morning and, as per the usual, I do my best thinking in the shower, either that or while walking the dog. Either way I do my best thinking when in a place where I can't write it down and I have usually forgotten it by the time I get home to write it down which is why I never write blog posts any more. Well, one of the many reasons. So I write this while dripping wet, wrapped in a towel, lest I forget this important less.
So there I was in the shower and I realized that I was asking the wrong question. It shouldn't be "what have I gained?" but "what have I given away?" What point is gaining wisdom and compassion and knowledge and skill and understanding if I don't share those with others? Even John the Baptist said, "He must become greater, I must become less."
The whole point of being on this planet is to love God and to love other people. If there is not love, there is nothing. Don't believe me then read it for yourself in I Corinthians 13.
The past 5 years have seen a whole lot of ups and downs in my personal and professional life and it would be really hard to look at the current product of who I am now and say that I am a new and improved Ginny. I'm afraid that I am not. But have I loved? Have I cared for people? Have I crawled into the pit with them? Sat on the mourning bench with them? Brought them a cup of cold water? Lifted their spirits with some self-deprecating humor? Showed them that God is not far away but very, very close?
If so, it doesn't matter about the rest. Any improvement I may make is not to be stockpiled, it is to be given away.