For the last 3 months of 2019, in align with Trinity’s ‘Finish Strong’ theme, I attempted to set aside lunch on Tuesdays to pray, meditate, read, listen to music, etc.. It did not happen every Tuesday but I did it more often than not. During this time, I would always read part of the book, “Warrior of the Light” by Paulo Coehlo. It was gift given to me by a patient. A most excellent gift I might add (thanks Toshiko). The book has been rich and guided some thoughts I would like to share as we enter 2020.
Before I share from the book, let me start off with a quote that I believe speaks to the heart of the book. Marianne Williamson stated, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” You see, if you do not know or if you just need to be reminded, we are all “warriors of the light.”
What is a warrior of the light? According to Coehlo, ‘a warrior of the light values a child’s eyes…they are capable of understanding the miracle of life, of fighting to the last for something…they believe in and of hearing the bells (even when no one else can)…”
Who is a warrior of the light? Coehlo goes on to explain, “Everyone is capable of these things. And, though no one thinks of themselves as a Warrior of the Light, we all are.”
As I read each Tuesday, I took notes of what actions constitute being a warrior of the light. I have listed them below as I came across them.
Grateful * Knows what matters * Learns * Observes * Remains relational * Challenges * Perseveres * Seeks * Prays * Has a choice * Encourages * Never loses hope * Meditates * Not give into discouragement * Has call to help not condemn * Never in a hurry * Does not accept everything * Practices art of forgiveness * Committed * Believes * Makes decisions * Surrenders to the miracle of the every-day *Pays attention to the small things * Remains steadfast even if faith wanes * Knows no man is an island * Rests * Laughs * Loves because without, they are nothing * Reliable * Is child-like * Only fights if absolutely necessary * Surrenders guilt & pride * Knows the power of words * Keeps promises * Knows when to celebrate * Fights the good fight * Gives freely * Tries to enjoy the small moments * Adapts * Takes responsibility * Sees beauty * Learns to live with contradictions * Does not abandon the path *
I highlighted 4 of my favorite. Let me tell you why.
(1) Has a choice: I get to choose my attitude everyday; I can not control other’s actions or words but I can choose my response. A mentor once told me: “Everyday you wake up, the enemy has a plan and God has plan; who’s plan are you going to follow?” I want to choose wisely the path on which I walk knowing at times I may choose wrongly.
(2) Surrenders to the miracle of the everyday: I miss out on the simple things of life b/c I am so often focused on the bigger goal. My heart is to capture the small miracles – a big snowflake, a glimmer in my wife’s eyes, a smile on my child’s face, the feeling of crisp air in the morning, the beauty of sunset – all the moments that if not careful, I can take for granted and not even realize that each is a miracle; a gift from God.
(3) Fights the good fight: I realize some days will be hard but I will choose to endure. Two words that have been on my mind for some time: intentional & consistent; these two words keep me committed to the good fight.
(4) Does not abandon the path: This path is not meant to be journeyed alone. There is too much at stake. I fully realize that my actions have consequences that will last much longer than I am alive. To stay on the path; I can never do it alone. I must surround myself with like-minded company that: guards, challenges & encourages.
Warrior; yes you are! My friends, whether you realize it or not – YOU ARE A WARRIOR OF THE LIGHT. As you enter 2020, the question that lies before you is this: Will you choose to be what you are already destined to be?