Is your life wonderful every moment of every day? Dumb question, right? It’s no secret that pain and grief invade even the most wonderful of days. Who among us hasn’t experienced times when we’ve imagined what life would be like without us, or been convinced others would be better off if we’d never been born?
Such is the plight of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. Threatened with bankruptcy, scandal and prison, compounded by the words of his nemesis, “you’re worth more dead than alive,” George begins to believe it. In George’s case, he actually gets a chance to find out what his hometown would be like without him, thanks to a rooky angel named Clarence who hopes to finally earn his wings.
The story contains some wonderful truths. The prayers we immortals pray really do reach Heaven, and angels really do come to our aid. However, the idea of us becoming angels after we die is fabricated. The Bible draws a clear distinction between the two. Humans are humans and angels are angels, with no need to earn their wings. The premise does make for some thought-provoking and entertaining stories, though.
Does your life always feel like the incredible gift that it is? It’s challenging to find the wonderful in life when it’s marred with broken relationships, loss, unstable health, financial woes, the nightly news, or even lousy weather. Isn’t it?
But what if the word “wonderful” literally means “full of wonder?” If so, then it’s our own choice to discover wonder in any given moment, if we open our eyes to it. Photographers are masters at this. My friends GayleLoewen and Stan Wiebe amaze me with their ability to find majesty in the minute objects of nature or everyday life. A cloud formation which goes so easily unseen is a masterpiece, if we but notice. A fall leaf, to the observant, is a dazzling display of intricate design. And a ninety-year-old woman’s hands are objects of great beauty when seen through the eyes of a thoughtful beholder.
Have you stopped to consider the workings of your own eyes? Or how your heart beats nonstop for decades without your command or awareness? Have you sliced into a fresh orange and marveled at its aroma, its intricacies, its life-giving sustenance? What about the wonder of language or reading? How can we look at black squiggles on a white page and from them become informed, inspired, or so engrossed in a story we’re unaware of the passing of time?
Life is beautiful. Life is hard. Both statements are true. I believe the wonder-filled moments we enjoy in this life are a tiny taste of what awaits us in the life beyond this—where the truly wonderful is yet to come.
You might think you wouldn’t be missed had you not been born. After all, someone can’t miss what they never had. But Psalm 139 tells us your Creator spread all the stages of your life before him, the days of your life all prepared before you’d even lived one day. The God of the universe would miss you! And I think that’s pretty wonderful.
The Friday and Saturday dinner theatre tickets are no longer available, but if you’re reading this on Thursday, November 13, you still have a chance to see the Prairie Prairies’ performance of It’s a Wonderful Life tonight at 8:00 at the William Glesby Centre. $15 will buy you a ticket, rush seating.
Enjoy the story. Be inspired. And embrace your wonderful life.
|A scene from the Prairie Players production of It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play|