"Thank heaven there is tomorrow. Because there is tomorrow, all our yesterdays have meaning and all our dreams have hope."

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Sunflower

I just have to share a book with all of you. Shortly after Jason and I came home from Salt Lake City in October, one of my friends brought over the book The Sunflower by Richard Paul Evans. I feel so bad it has taken me so long to read it - but I thought it was a perfect opportunity to spend the weekend reading since Jason was gone for a few days visiting his family. Saturday afternoon I ran all of my errands and then sat down to read and never put the book down. It was such a simple but amazing novel about what is truly important in life. I don't want to give away the book for those of you who may want to read it - but the story takes place at an orphanage in Peru where an American doctor has taken in some of the street children who have been abandoned or sold by their parents. It's such a beautifully written true story which has once again opened my eyes to the truly important things in life. I know I talk about this all of the time, but reading this book made me ashamed of the things that I continue to preoccupy my worries and time with. There is a quote in the book from the Dr's journal which says, "American culture is a curious thing. We fret over a sport's star's twisted ankle or the ill-fated marriage of celebrities, yet lose no sleep over a hundred million children living in the streets."

Just think about it for a second - I did. What are you preoccupied with right now? What are your biggest worries? What are you so consumed with? I'll go out on a limb and tell you what I worry and think about the most . . . MYSELF. Isn't it true? Maybe you don't do that, maybe it's just me . . . but how often do we find ourselves thinking and consumed with what we don't have and how much we want it. Are we really justified in thinking we NEED a new car, a boat, or brand name clothes when there are literally millions of children living and starving on the streets? For me this defines necessity. I am embarrassed that I am so consumed with myself, my grief and the materialistic aspects of life that I consider to be important. If I put half of that energy into serving others or helping those that are really in need . . . I may be able to make a difference for someone else.

Too often I find myself heartbroken, preoccupied or sad with some of the cards life has dealt to our little family. There was another quote in the book that really hit home for me. "We carry around in our heads these pictures of what our lives are supposed to look like, painted by the brush of our intentions. It's the great, deep secret of humanity that in the end none of our lives look the way we thought they would. As much as we wish to believe otherwise, most of life is a reaction to circumstance."

I know this post is kinda a rant . . . I didn't intend for it to be that way. Sorry. I actually just wanted it to be a book review. I should be actively trying to make another person's life better - not so utterly consumed with the things I want.


Debbie Freeman said...

It didn't come across as a rant at all. I am always glad to be reminded of just how important it is to look around and see all the needs of others. THANKS!!

alli may said...

brent and i were just saying what an amazing writer you are. we love to read what you write. you are so thoughtful, articulate, and sincere. we love that about you, and feel you have a real talent for writing.

T-Ray said...

I know that I am selfish and worry too much about myself. I love your entries. They really make me think.