S- Epiphany 2020
It is the obligatory “If the Wise Men Had Been Women” joke:
What would have happened if it had been three Wise Women instead of three Wise Men?
They would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought practical gifts – diapers, wipes, and a variety of Johnson and Johnson products!
Today is the Eve of the Epiphany – The day we recall the Wise Guys following a star to discover the Incarnation of God. An epiphany is an eye-opening experience; something that gets our attention in a new way.
In an article published in the Huffington Post, the writer says:
Taking that step to live out your epiphany is when real transformation happens.
These are eight epiphanies everyone should have.
1. You aren't what people say you are.
What matters most is what you say and feel about yourself. You get to choose, you can let others define you and tell you who you are or you can show them who you are. Be you. The world needs you as you are.
2. Plan B is often better than Plan A.
The most freeing moment in your life is when you let go of what you think is best for you and allow the universe to show you what you really need. Stop holding on to what is no longer working: that job, that relationship, that dream. If it feels like hard work and is causing you more pain than gain, it is time to release it. Instead, follow your heart.
3. You are not the number on the scale.
At the end of your life the weight struggles, the food wars, or the obsession with new diets and trying to look a certain way will have no relevance. The only thing that matters is what is in your heart. How you make people feel and how you make YOU feel is more important than how you look.
4. The journey is more important than the goal.
Yes, reaching goals are important, but the actual process of becoming, growing, learning, and morphing into who we need to become is the real sweet stuff that makes a wonderful life. Enjoy the journey as much as the reward.
5. Being alone doesn't mean you will be lonely.
The fear of being alone strikes the heart and makes many people settle. But when you learn to love your own company, you will see that you are never really lonely.
6. It will never be all done.
The to-do lists, the chores, the things we race around to get done, will never be done. It is called life. Situations, chores, to do lists will always unfold. Instead of focusing on the end result, be in the process and celebrate what you have accomplished.
7. Emotional pain shows up to show us what we need to change.
Sadness, depression, and heartache are gentle reminders to probe deeper into our life. Look at what is not working and be open to living your life in new ways. You will see that one day it will all make sense.
8. You don't have to find your purpose, it will find you.
The transition period between where you were and where you are going can be painful on your journey of finding purpose. Recognize that there is purpose in the pain. Each step you take is helping you carve out more of who you really are. Instead of regretting or resisting, try turning inwards and embrace the journey into joy.
In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that many enjoy watching during the Advent and Christmas season, the main character, Scrooge, experiences an epiphany. Scrooge begins the novel as a pessimistic, harsh man who has no sympathy for other people. On Christmas Eve, he is led through the past, present, and future by three ghosts who show him the effects his attitude has on people he loves. As a result of this journey, Scrooge has an epiphany that he no longer wants to live life in this manner and changes his outlook.
In this example, the sudden realization the character had was simply to treat others with kindness and gratitude.
An epiphany is the sudden awareness or realization that a character gains through an experience. Many times, the character’s epiphany leads to a positive growth in the character’s life.
Epiphanies do not have to be some earthshattering experiences, but small insights or changes of heart.
We are people of HOPE – the Magi followed the star, filled with hope of finding God’s incarnation – a Savior born for all people!
The first gift the magi gave was the gift of their attention; their reverence; their worship. The first gift they gave was their hearts.
On this Epiphany, let us re-dedicate our hearts to Jesus.
Let us worship and adore him.
Let us set our sights on loving God by our worship and our service.
In doing so, we will live in the Epiphany the whole year long – because as one of my mentor’s said: “What you focus on will grow.”
A cartoon posted by David Carpenter on Facebook showed two creatures. One asks the other, "Why so optimistic about 2020? What do you think it will bring? Everything is so messed up." And the other one says, "I think it will bring flowers." And the first asks, "Yes? How come?" And the second one aswers, "Because I am planting flowers."
What you focus on will grow!
I believe 2020 will be a challenging year, but I also believe it will be a year marked by courage, hope and love.
Let us all embody courage, hope, and love.
Be the Incarnation of God’s love everywhere your journey takes you.