The Come Follow Me devotional a couple weeks ago really got me thinking.
It was given by Tiffany Tomsik and I loved it because she talked about our constant state of absorbing and emanating light. You know in the covid days when you would walk through those areas in airports, etc. that could track, just from you walking through, whether your temperature was elevated?
Tiffany talked about how, although we as humans may not be able to track the internal temperature of others, we CAN feel the light others are emanating. Do you ever feel that way?
Like when you’re in the presence of someone who gives you energy and makes you feel joyful as opposed to someone who actually sucks the goodness out of a room?
Tiffany shared a quote from William George Jordan that I have been thinking about ever since:
Life is a state of constant radiation and absorption
“Life is a state of constant radiation and absorption; to exist is to radiate; to exist is to be the recipient of radiations….Man cannot escape for one moment from this radiation of his character, this constantly weakening or strengthening of others…He can select the qualities that he will permit to be radiated. He can cultivate sweetness, calmness, trust, generosity, truth, justice, loyalty, nobility,–make them vitally active in his character,–and by these qualities he will constantly affect the world.“
Isn’t that just the most beautiful thing? And also scary. Because what are we doing right this instant that may show the qualities we are selecting to radiate?
The way we live life, even the way we think, can send ripple effects off into the big wide world and make a difference.
I looked up a little more from William George Jordan and found that that quote is from a book called Self-Control: Its Kingship and Majesty (and I just ordered it from Amazon…so excited to mark that puppy up, good old William sure knew his stuff back in 1905!)
I wanted to share one more quote I found:
The only responsibility that a man cannot evade in this life is the one he thinks of least,—his personal influence. Man’s conscious influence, when he is on dress-parade, when he is posing to impress those around him,—is woefully small. But his unconscious influence, the silent, subtle radiation of his personality, the effect of his words and acts, —is tremendous. Every moment of life he is changing to a degree the life of the whole world. Every man has an atmosphere which is affecting every other. So silent and unconsciously is this influence working, that man may forget that it exists.
My “one word” for 2023
Ok, so back to my “one word” mantra for 2023.
Because all this talk about “radiation and absorption” reminded me I haven’t talked about it yet.
I didn’t choose a one-word mantra for 2022 for the first time in forever…it just didn’t come to me. Maybe because 2022 was a year where I couldn’t quite seem to get my feet under me, it kicked me in my bootie in many ways.
But this year I’m taking back control.
Are we ever truly “in control” of life? I don’t think so.
If life was all controlled and regulated I don’t think we’d learn much.
But I am realigning a few things, hence the new word.
My word is not “absorption” or “radiate” or any of that jazz that goes with those quotes,
But I think any time you take one word and have it help you guide your life, you are creating momentum on the radiation end of things. Like William George Jordan said up there, “Every moment of life he [or she] is changing to a degree the life of the whole world.”
My “one word” for this year is TIME.
I have come to realize I am greedy with time.
I hoard it.
There’s never enough.
I have found myself so inundated with tasks and responsibilities sometimes that I forget I have a choice as to how I spend my time.
No one else chooses that for me.
When I am hoarding time I am doing things like staying up late into the night hunched over my computer just trying to get one more thing done.
I’m hoarding time when I am texting people on my phone, even when it’s for great causes, but there’s another person right here in my house I could be concentrating on.
I am hoarding time when I am running around spinning my wheels trying to fit it all in.
Oh I sure think I can “do it all” in a matter of a few hours!
Now of course we all need to get things done. There is so much beautiful life that is not going to happen unless we create it.
But this year I am choosing to be more deliberate with managing my time.
Setting up some systems and actually hiring someone to help me (if anyone knows of an amazing organizer I could hire as an assistant please let me know!)
Because this year I’m not going to hoard my time, I’m just going to allocate it differently.
To my family.
To my friends.
And to God.
There is nothing in the world as beautiful or as fulfilling as really “seeing” someone. And that doesn’t happen when you are dashing from one thing to the next nearly hyperventilating.
There is such a thing as slowing time down.
It happens to me when I notice Mother Earth.
It happens when I stop everything I’m doing and just sit and listen (I’m a multitasker by nature).
I love a quote I heard the other day: “We need to experience life in faith and abundance.”
Things come and things go.
We need to set goals and have faith for the future.
But we also need to learn “the speed of going slow” (a phrase my wise Dad has tried to teach me through the years).
Already this “one-word” deal is helping me make a shift.
Gradually, but steadily.
I’ll tell some of the ways tomorrow when I talk about what I’m giving up for Lent (helping me with my allotment of beautiful “Time” lately!).
But for now, I’ll just close leaving a challenge.
May we all heed William George Jordan’s words and be more deliberate with the things we chose to absorb, as well as the things we radiate.
Because I believe we each, alone and uniquely, have the power to change the world for a better, degree by degree, through our interactions and how we chose to use our time.