I’ll begin by admitting this post is a bit of a cop-out– I emailed the below quote to some of my family today.  It stuck with me more than I expected, though, and I realized it’s something that everyone should read and ruminate over.  I think there’s a tendency in many of us to become depressed or dejected when our lives aren’t going how we envisioned or when we think we’re stuck in a monotonous rut of daily activity.  There’s a temptation to believe we’re not doing anything for the world. 

And maybe we’re not.  Maybe we’re living selfish existences and squelching the gifts God gave us. 

Or maybe we are doing something for the world– it’s just those somethings are small and hidden.  Maybe we think we’re living a montonous existence because we’re hitting the grindstone every day at a thankless job.  But if that grindstone is being hit because we’re working to put food on the table or put our kids through school, if we’re working to make others’ lives better, if we get out of bed every day because there are other little lives dependent on ours… well, I think we are doing something for the world.

But how are we living?  Have we stopped to really examine our lives, our priorities, our attitudes?

Okay, I’ll step off my soapbox and give you the quote.  I came across this article: The Gospel According to Frank Capra by Rod Bennett, and this part really moved me:

 Some people say (they’ve been saying it since 1946) “It’s A Wonderful Life shows that every person’s life turns out okay in the end.” It doesn’t. It’s A Wonderful Life shows that George Bailey’s turns out okay in the end; and George Bailey is really not such a common “common man.” After all, if Mr. Potter (or even the man who pushes Mr. Potter’s wheelchair) had been shown Bedford Falls as it would have been if he’d never been born, he’d have seen a far different picture than George sees (which, by the way, is the plot of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol). I saw clearly that George Bailey’s life was wonderful because he was wonderful—wonderfully and exceptionally good. It’s not circumstance or fate that keeps George chained to his “shabby little office.” He has had one grand opportunity after another to leave town: a ticket to college. $2000 for a honeymoon. Sam Wainwright’s “ground floor in plastics.” Mr. Potter’s $20,000 a year. George stays stuck in his hick town for one reason only—he cannot bring himself to sell his soul to get out of it. Though he doesn’t know it (indeed, he can only see himself as a sucker for having done it) George has sold his dreams to keep Bedford Falls from becoming Pottersville. It’s A Wonderful Lifeis a passion play; George Bailey’s sufferings have saved all those he loves best; he loses his dream so that Martini and Mary and Violet Bick and Uncle Billy may have theirs. George Bailey’s love has been his defeat and his defeat has been his victory. When the tests came “Slacker George… the miserable failure” was able to do the Greatest Thing in the World; Greater love hath no man than this—that he lay down his life for his friends.