A Life of Contribution

by elizabethbrantley



I find there is really just one question that can turn my day around – am I acting from a place of contribution?


I have a tenancy when I am stressed to become selfish – selfish of my time, my desires, my needs. It’s like I am mad at the world, and therefore everyone around me, for not making things easier.



Logically, I know that having more on my plate right now is the next step. It is necessary for my own growth, for my own ability and greatest desire – to be of greater service. But I notice within me a deep resistance, a bratty self awakens within me, screaming and shouting for her comfort and stress-free times.


I think this is particularly hard for me to look at and handle today. Not only am I reminded of the stress and abundant pulls on the President of the United States, as he is inaugurated, but I am overly aware too of Martin Luther King, Jr. , whose presence and life are perhaps one of the greatest examples in American History, of taking on a burden, a deeply rooted history and creating change my being a channel of love.


It is a national day of service, yet the toddler in me is tantruming because she is a bit overwhelmed, because somewhere, she reverted back to the idea that it was all about her.



Martin Luther King Jr. did not have an easy path. He created massive change with effort and massive love. His days were riddled with incarcerations and beatings and fightings, and yet, it was lived on the foundation of such a deep love from faith, that the man kept marching, he kept fighting, until his final breath.



I suppose what I am asking for today is to have that. Is to be so filled up with the confidence, the love, the peace of God that despite the overwhelming task asked of each of us, that I meet it what is being asked of me peacefully, confidently, and joyously, as an act of service to God.


As I have prayed continuously that I be of service, it is quite silly to suddenly be upset when I have things to do. These aren’t just “to-dos”. These aren’t punishments. These are answered prayers. The ideas that come up that you feel inspired to follow. The tasks put on your desk at work. The places you are called to serve. The products that you hope to offer others. These aren’t burdens. These are contributions.

It may be messy at first, like a toddler learning how to walk – but it will get easier. Allow yourself to make mistakes as you venture forward and become involved in more, as you are of greater service to more people. Everyone must learn to walk before they can run. As long as you keep your mind on the path. As long as you remember those who have run before you, who reach back every year to help you remember that life, your life, can be as massively contributive and as faithful as their was, even if you fall down time and time again with your attitude, your spirit, or your will. Those that have come before us will reach down and pick us up and train us yet again.