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Sunday, March 01, 2015
A Shifting Source of Satisfaction - Eleanor Shepherd
When I was
younger, it was all about me.I wanted
for people to like me and I wanted to be valued and appreciated for the things
that I did.While I still enjoy the
affirmation of others, I have found that now I find greater satisfaction in
shared projects and in the good things that happen to others.
Over the years I have discovered that my source of
satisfaction has altered.
I am not
sure when or how the shift happened.I
only know that today I have a much greater capacity to find pleasure in the
good things that happen to other people and good things that happen to others
is a greater source of satisfaction for me than they ever were before.
realization hit me forcefully the other day when I went out for lunch with a
friend who I had not seen for several months, even though we live in the same
city.During our conversation, she told
me how she was being considered for a prestigious award.I smiled when she told me and felt so pleased
to hear this news.She reminded me that
several years ago I had nominated her for this award and nothing had come of
it.Now she is seriously being
considered and I was delighted.As I
felt joy for her bubbling up in me, I was also aware that there was a time in
my life, when my feelings would have been much different. I would have been
jealous of her being considered for this honour or wondered why I was not able
to do things that might result in someone nominating me for awards.
perhaps I have been able to appreciate her good fortune because I have had a
few accomplishments of my own.Rewards
and honours have come my way, so perhaps I no longer have to prove my value by seeking
to win acclaim from others.
At a more
profound level, it may be that the adversity that has come my way has also
helped to teach me about a more significant source of satisfaction. During some
dark days, in my life, particularly after the crippling accident of my son, I
came to value the support and encouragement that came when we were carried by
others and their prayers for us.
experience of learning the solidarity of support from others has played a
significant role in leading me to a deeper source of satisfaction, that which
is found in our shared humanity.Knowing
I am among fellow beggars telling each other where to find bread has taught me to
appreciate and be there for others in their time of need.This mutual caring becomes a huge source of
satisfaction as we realize that we are all in this together.It is the satisfaction of abundant life.
of shift in our source of satisfaction is an integral part of our spiritual formation.Through the process our values come to adhere
more closely to those of the One who loves us most.