An individual has not started living
until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns
to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
I came upon this quote this weekend while surfing the web and I couldn't shake it or leave it be, so I thought I'd write about it. I spent the greater part of my young life in pursuit of the accumulation of perishable and insignificant "stuff". Sure, I was raised a Christian and spent my boyhood years following Christ's example. But once I went out on my own, I fell into that trap with everyone else in this world, a self-serving, self-centered way of life. I was never completely satisfied and always wanted more. I regret not knowing our Lord and Savior on a more personal relationship all those years. As the song says, "Lord you never let go of me". Thank you for hanging onto and waiting for me.
Sometimes we all have to be blinded like Paul to be reminded of our free gift. Mine came in 2001. I won't go into the details, that's another story. In short, I lost everything near and dear to me and had to start over in life at 35. The next year I met Heidi and everything changed. She has helped me succeed in ways I couldn't imagine. She had it all together and she taught me how to be a better person. I had already restarted my journey with God, in fact it's a private joke with us that our relationship started on a Sunday morning in March 2002 while I was in Bible class. The one thing I was able to give back to her was a personal relationship with Christ. Heidi was raised Catholic and was saved in her youth, but she felt disillusioned and left behind, she was "searching", as I had been. We married in 2004 and started our walk together, seeking a relationship with Christ that we so desperately wanted. That's when it happened, we started living, really living.
Heidi and I have been blessed over the years. Blessed with great jobs, blessed with our own home, blessed with steadiness while the rest of the nation struggles during our bleak economy, blessed with great friends. But most of all, we have been blessed with seven children. Let's count them: Jessica 20, Jordan 15, Zina 13, Nadia 12, Rimma 12, Julia 11, and Kolya 9, in that birth order. Yes, they are a blessing. They were not born from Heidi, but rather a gift from God. One has moved on to college, one lives with her mom, three are with us and two (R&Z) are family awaiting in Ukraine for mom and dad.
In the end, it's not about all the material stuff you can accumulate. I remember Christ's charge to all of us to take care of the widow, the orphan, the stranger. You don't have to adopt to follow His request, there are many other ways. Thank you Dr. King for reminding me of that and thank you Lord for sending me that message. That's what "Living" is to me!
~ Felix ~