If every person and all the events in our lives are there because God put them there, then the opposite is true as well. What we choose to do with those people and events is up to us. Free will. Free will that is craftily guided by God.
I remember life in my very early 30’s. Footloose and fancy-free. Doing whatever I wanted to do, how I went about doing it, and whenever I wanted to do it. Oh yes there was a lot of fun, but at the expense of personal safety. Selfish comes to mind first. Such a life of egotistical pride and behavior will often find those involved in similar action on the wrong side of the law. Those were the days. Or were they?
How I lived my life then was a lot faster, in every sense. I had taken then beginnings of ‘freedom’ while in college accelerated every aspect so that I could experience everything I possibly could, in a manner that suited my genetic make-up. Feeding the wolf isn’t the way to do it however, but that is exactly what I was doing.
I knew everyone and everyone knew me. I was friends with the local TV news guy and weather girl. Though my name was not known everywhere in town, my persona was known. I was that bartender who made great drinks at the bar. Most wanted to know my name, and those who did not know my first name knew who I was and where they could find me. The adoration was awesome, but it wasn’t real.
After I moved out of state I was alone. There were some connections that were kept, but with only a few people who truly meant something to me. All others turned out to be peripheral acquaintances that would, in time, fade away. There is only so much of ‘me’, of ‘you’, to go around. Spreading ourselves so thinly across relationships only fosters weak connections, which lead to weak bridges.
I remember speaking on the phone with Irene, all alone in my tiny, tiny studio apartment with grey walls and telling her that ‘I’m not famous anymore.’ It was hard for me. Apparently there was a void in me for something more than the need to be seen, acknowledged, and even revered. That was my first hard lesson on humility, something I never possessed before then.
A victim of my new circumstances and placed in a ‘time-out’, I had a lot of time to think.
No longer famous I unintentionally sought to become famous again. Obviously the void I now experienced needed to be filled with something. Not all choices were positive, and it took further lessons in life for me that I still needed to go through.
I’m not seeking ‘fame’ anymore, but I am aiming to make a positive impact in the lives of others. In doing so, I sense a level of growing legacy resulting from my efforts to be someone outside of myself. And this is very humbling to me.