Epiphany's Mantra

i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes
-e.e. cummings

2.11.2011

It’s a Wonderful Life

Reprinted from:

Stewardship Corner Newsletter
January 2011


I suspect and would hope that everyone reading this article has seen, or knows about, the movie by the title listed above.  Frank Capra’s 1946 movie, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed is much more popular today than it was back then, and has become a Christmas season favorite.

If you are familiar with the film, you know about the main character, George Bailey, who goes through his life with great personal goals and aspirations, only to have them constantly thwarted when he is faced with a choice of self, over doing the right thing.  George consistently does the right thing and is terribly frustrated to the point he does not see the effect his life has had on so many.  The movie really asks us to define what a wonderful life is, and asks us to answer the question of whether an unselfish life can be a wonderful life.  The answer is obviously “yes”, but getting to yes is not necessarily easy.

I think all of us can point to times in our lives, or even phases in our lives, where we faced the dilemma of self versus right.  And, of course, there are degrees, subtleties and extremes in every example.  Some examples of self versus right are simple, such as giving pennies for pencils to assist children in learning in some far off nation.  Some are subtle, such as avoiding a product that hurts the environment.  Others are more difficult, such as voting against one’s self interest in an election for the sake of the greater good of society.  And still other choices are life choices, such as always putting others before yourself in whatever you do.  

The latter example is the most difficult by far.  Where do we draw the line between giving and losing out because we’ve given so much?  I think the answer to that question lies in being able to see the gifts we have already been given, rather than looking at the cost of it.  

In the movie, George Bailey is faced with losing everything and is standing on a bridge looking down at a raging river, struggling with what his next move will be.  He considers that things would have been better if he’d never been born and is given an opportunity to see exactly what that would have been.  He comes to realize that the choices he made in his life gave so much to so many, and that his unselfish giving was a gift unto itself. 

There is an obvious Stewardship message here - Stewardship Chair


Again thank you L.S for your insight and sense of community, we all can learn to appreciate the good times and the bad. Life, with all it's complexities is always worth the roller coaster ride. 

Photo Credit: Shannon Pifko

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