I overheard my 4 year-old grandson Ethan asking his uncle to take him back to his home because “today is forever”. I asked myself, “since when does today become forever”? Later, I found myself mulling over these same words much longer. Right now Ethan is ten and I thought I should share some thoughts to explain why it made so much sense and sounded so profound at the time.
When he said “today is forever, his uncle Chris and I understood what Ethan meant. We knew it had nothing to do with today being a part of eternity, but was more to do with the immediacy of the request.
The genesis of Ethan’s statement had something to do with things gone badly at his school. His mother had promised him that she would bring the matters home to his grandmother. A quick thinker, not wanting to be outsmarted, Ethan quickly packed a small bag and announced to his family that he was going away forever to stay with his grandparents. He said goodbye and left for his grandparents’ home. On arrival he announced to everyone that he had come to stay forever.
After a while we realized that he had pulled of a tactical move ahead of his mother to avert a crisis. He had wanted to be the first one to talk to his grandmother. But over that weekend nothing was shared about Ethan’s misdemeanors. Three days later his heart betrayed him. It was clear he missed his parents and little brother. So he asked his uncle to take him back home. Teasingly he was reminded that he had come to stay forever. Without bucking down or batting an eyelid Ethan made his point quickly, he said, “well, today is forever and I must go home now”.
For some reason this statement struck such a deep chord within me that it has held my attention for a long time. Through reflection and soul searching, I came to realize that the significance I attached to Ethan’s expression was because it raised fundamental questions I had asked myself before but kept putting off. What had I done to change the course of problems crying out to be fixed? What will I leave behind for posterity to make the world a better place to live in?
Finally, I had come face to face with the issues I had been avoiding for a long time. I asked myself, if today were to become my forever, would I be able to leave truthful answers to these questions? Would I leave with a clear conscience, that I had been doing what I was born to do and accomplished what I was destined to?
Thinking about this seriously for the first time felt like trying to re-direct a big ship mid-course and without a compass! I could see things were threatening to become unwieldy. But I decided for myself that it was never too late to start and this was not an insurmountable challenge. I knew that if I looked hard enough I would certainly find a compass, to orient myself and chart a way forward.
However the task of trying to finding answers to these questions, I had a feeling was going to be the hard part. No one can ever define the meaning of life for anyone else. Anyone who desires a deeper sense of purpose must take the journey to discover themselves, the reason they exist and then make plans on how to accomplish this purpose.
Thinking about today is forever, made me change my mind and accept that my journey through life had not been an accident. I knew that just as there is an order to everything in this world and in nature, there had to be an order, a pre-ordained order for my life. I had to acknowledge that things, events and people must have worked together to bring me to this crucial point. The time was opportune, I had just taken a career break and the space around me was clear without clutter. I had enough reflection room and felt the freedom to make choices and decisions about my purpose and mission in life.
This was my time. The time when self-imposed limits and those imposed by the world had to be shaken off to discover my uniqueness, purpose, place and calling. I had been through rough challenges that had made me place limits on myself and accept more from others. Room for achievement was limited. Nothing changed because I could not see past pitfalls and adversity. When focus is place on them we shrink back from the opportunity to make things greater. I realized that if I was to accomplish anything of value to others and answer my life’s questions, I had to lead myself well and focus on building this ability.
My life, my thinking and my heart were being flooded with new Light and Love. My mind was being renewed. Transformation was beginning to happen.
To me, “Today is Forever’ rings of timelessness and infinite possibilities. So I allowed myself to get into a new mindset, new possibilities to put my best effort forward before time stood still forever. It speaks of the connectedness between generations. How can I then not pour my life into leaving a legacy for the priceless generations after me?
Posted by Maggi @HRiCon