Squandering All of Who We Are

Article by Mary Bea Sullivan


The Spirit of God has made me.  The breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4 Early this morning I read the preceding passage and decided to stay with it lectio divina style.  Each reading moved me deeper into soft spaces within, an opening to softness which has been illusive lately.


In the Buddhist tradition one is taught to be grateful for this precious life; that it is a privilege to embody the human form as opposed to that of a frog, or a dog, or an ant (although the way our yellow lab Daisy, and orange kitty Speedy are treated, I am not so sure they haven’t drawn the better straw …).


In any case, during my meditation time waves of gratitude washed over me as I tried to comprehend the unlikely event of my ever being born … the gift of continuing to breathe each breath.


My prayer moved from one of gratitude to that of resolve, “I will not squander my precious life.”  And yet, how does one not squander a life? I made a list:


•love unconditionally

•forgive generously

•smile often

•abide the wisdom of small children and the elderly

•give thanks

•share your gifts with reckless abandon

•face your demons lest they run your life

•work diligently at whatever you do

•dance (maybe even naked under the moon now and then!)



•make time for those you love

•make time for yourself

•sit in silence with the Divine

•notice the sparkles on the water after a storm

•listen to the tree frogs in the spring

•smell the fragrance of gardenias

•choose to be a blessing

•when you hear the voice of judgment, either in your head or on your lips, change your tune and then forgive yourself for judging


Remember … what you do is not nearly as important as how you do it … intention is everything.  What would you add to the list?


It’s funny, but nothing on this list can be purchased.  Yet we live in a material world which requires paying for food, clothes, and shelter – not to mention whirlwind trips to New Orleans (subject of another article perhaps).


Could it be that in the course of our lives, melding the spiritual with the material has more to do with the spirit that we bring to our endeavors?  Maybe building in daily reminders such as “The Spirit of God has made me.  The breath of the Almighty gives me life.” helps us to make choices that keep us from squandering this precious life …


In fact, I wonder if we wouldn’t find ourselves squandering all of who we are in reckless acts of love and generosity, kind of like this guy Job who poured out all of who he was a couple thousand years ago.


“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”
-Ellen Vaughn


Mary Bea Sullivan is the author of Dancing Naked Under the Moon – Uncovering the Wisdom Within, a compelling story about her pilgrimage toward wholeness.  She facilitates spiritual retreats and workshops for women’s groups and faith communities.  Mary Bea lives with her husband, Malcolm Marler, and their yellow (white really) lab, Daisy on Smith Lake in Alabama. For more information about Mary Bea Sullivan and her work, please visit www.MaryBeaSullivan.com.


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Posted on 23 October, 2009 in Gratitude
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