If you keep your mental antennas up, you can find inspiration in surprising places.
My neighbors shared a Christmas letter with me from their longtime friend Mike. It made an impression on me. I can't do better than repeat part of it in his own words so it can bless you too—“you” as represented by the approximately 2-3000 views a month my blog is privileged to receive. Go, Mike...
“[In speaking with a realtor friend earlier in the year, he showed me a flyer describing a house he had been contracted to sell.] The photographer included the image of a young girl standing at the foot of the grand staircase of the house he was trying to sell. The picture touched me as worthy of some contemplation. In it I imagine her standing at the beginning of her life's journey represented by the stairs before her. Each step on the stairway of life brings a promise of many things: loving and being loved, happiness and tears, success and failure, personal growth intellectually and spiritually, understanding, the power to become who she will be, and the discovery of the love and wonder of God in her life.
“As I reflect on my life's journey, to date, I've reached the 72nd step. How many steps remain is known only to God. When I began to climb, I had no idea what the journey would bring, or of the many people I would encounter on my climb. Today, as I look back and reflect, I realize how blessed I am to have encountered so many friends on my journey. Whether our acquaintance goes back many years, or is of more recent vintage, I want you to know I have been richly blessed that you became and remain a part of the fabric of my life. For this I thank God with all my heart. As Helen Keller said, 'So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.' Blessed by your friendship, my life's journey has been very good.” Thanks, Mike, I agree!
I am rich indeed with fellow-climber friends! I have probably never met most of you who view my blog posts throughout the world, but in some mystical way we too are part of each others lives, as are the rest of my many friends whom I have met face to face and heart to heart through the 92 years I have been climbing my staircase of life. I echo Psalm 103:5 “He [God] satisfies your [years, life, mouth, necessity and desire at your personal age] with good; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's [strong, overcoming, soaring]!" See Isaiah 40:31. Yes, blessed by your friendship, my life's journey continues to be very good.
The little child pictured in the photo contemplating the steep staircase ahead had to take it one step at a time, as I have had to do. There were times I stumbled on those stairs and though I might tumble backward. In life we are subject to progressive time and we must do the same. As we each reach the top of life's staircase, of course we aren't wearing the same shoes we started out with in infancy. I grew up in the era when parents bronzed their baby's shoes to preserve them as a keepsake. Mine were never bronzed, but I don't feel neglected or deprived. Would you believe? For whatever reason, I'm still in possession of mine. Mine are unique, however, in that I doubt anyone's baby shoes are preserved like mine with chicken droppings still stuck to the soles from running around in the barnyard as a toddler!
By the time we reach the summit of our life's staircase, some of us may no longer be wearing dress shoes with high heels but orthopedic supports in our SAS or New Balance practical footwear. And the view of life near the top of our climb shows us a vast panorama compared to the limited and unknown view from the bottom step. If we needed help in climbing life's stairs, and we all do, God was with us to hold our hand tightly as we advanced from childhood through adolescence, prime of life and advancing age. We don't know about the future, but we know Who holds our hand--Great is His faithfulness! Yes, blessed by your friendship, I too can say that my life's journey has been very good.
Thanks, my friend who is reading this blog post, thanks for being my friend as we have met somewhere in the Providence of God and for His purposes along our climb on our individual staircases of life.