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Let your life speak

I know I’m out there. I’m big on Facebook and email and I usually don’t mind being the center of attention. And I love to tell stories. Mostly about me! And what I experienced. And how I see things. Haha. It’s true.

Maybe it’s because I’m straight up self-centered and need attention. Yup. I can own that. I was born an extrovert, over-confident, and as a kid I was encouraged to go first and show off. Yet there are other reasons.

For one thing, I’m amazed at myself! Really. I am honest-to-god tickled-pink at some of the stuff I can do. This is not arrogance, this is me being in awe of my creator. Have you read The Body by Bill Bryson? He describes MY body and it’s amazing. Yours too. I brought a message to my Quaker Meeting about this. Listen here if you want. It’s called Marvel and Gratitude for What’s on Board.

I truly walk around in a daze of marvel at the world around me. When I see a beautiful sunrise or a forest ski trail, or when I pull off a new song or a fence repair, I want to share my awe. What you see on Facebook is “Look at me. Look what I can do.” But what I’m thinking is “Look what a human can do. Even this human!” My marvel and gratitude overflows and spills out in posts.

Secondly, it’s a Quaker thing — let your life speak — one of our core testimonies. It’s about not just saying stuff but doing stuff. Societal change comes about because of how we live our lives, not because of what we say or think or wish for. Quakers do stuff.

Not only that, while doing good things it helps to show others what you’re doing. Demonstrate. Model. “Let your light shine” is a related Quaker tenet. Something worth believing in is worth acting on. Yet I can be of even greater service to my fellows when I demonstrate my beliefs; when I show what they look like in action. Is it bragging to strut your stuff and say here’s who I am and here’s how I do stuff? I think it depends on intention. For what purpose art thou saying look at me?

We are each a blend of reasons for how we are in the world. I am some blend of some of the above, bumbling along in my over-confidence hoping others might learn from my follies.

What I’m really trying to say is that no matter who you are, if you are truly grateful for the miracles within you than it’s okay to shine. Sharing your awe – even about yourself – is a good way to act on your gratitude. Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket. Let your life speak so the rest of us can marvel at what you can do and who you are.

6 thoughts on “Let your life speak

  1. I like the awe thing you describe; and also your description of putting yourself out there and doing what you feel needs to be done. I am in a difficult position with family members now and it was an encouragement to be able to think of myself as “Quaker-ish”, in providing a service to a difficult and, well somewhat criminal, close relative who is dying of cancer. The role of compassion to unpopular folk (even Trump) has been one I find myself in at times. I feel it needs saying and doing; and it is difficult for some people to distinguish between the compassion I provide and approval. Still, I think I am doing something that needs to be done. So, I’m not particularly having “fun” at it; but you provided some encouragement toward continuing. Hopefully, that was a valid interpretation of your narrative.

  2. Your joie de vie (sp?) is one of my favorite things about you, may it never end!
    Gratitude to God for the amazing place we exist within? The source of all joy.

  3. You are awesome, Craig! You show us what we could do if we liked ourselves. And it all starts with our filling ourselves with goodness so that we can share it with others (an old sermon my father gave – remember?). Keep up the great work!

  4. What a welcome message! No false humility. Share yourself with the world. No need to mumble. Shout out joyfully and let yourself be received. Thank you, Craig!

  5. Great message today Craig. It’s our intentions about our actions that we hope will shine for the greater good. It’s not about I! That’s what I heard.

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