Back in college, I spent a summer in Rome (aka the most amazing city in the world) studying Roman Art and History. One of Rome’s most notable phases was its Renaissance. This period was responsible for producing famed artists such as Michelangelo, Bernini and Caravaggio, etc. Rome underwent rapid growth of its art and culture. Needless to say, it transformed Rome irreversibly.
Lately, I’ve been going through my own Renaissance. I’m not exactly sure what is driving it or where it’s taking me, but I’m going through a rebirth. My eyes are opening up to the world around me and I’m seeing things as I’ve never seen them before. I am inspired, driven and have a thirst for truth. I’m questioning things I never gave much thought to before (such as do we really need to buy shampoo or are we subjected to marketing telling us we need it?).
I’m baking bread, snubbing chemicals, minimalizing, making homemade lotion, and interested in sewing. But “why?” is the underlying question? Why go to the trouble to make homemade bread? Why minimize your furniture or your wardrobe?
The short answer is because I want my life to matter. When I’m gone, I want to leave a legacy of a life well-lived. Life has gotten too complicated. We’re so overstimulated and overfed and over-scheduled that often we get too distracted to question why we’re really here. For me, the reason I’m here is to enjoy meaningful relationships with friends/family and to show God’s love, compassion and grace to other people.
I want to sit and talk with my friends for hours over cheese and crackers; I want to take an afternoon nap on a lazy Saturday; I want to memorize the sound of my daughter’s giggles, because she is growing too fast.
I want to show Punky that time with our family and friends is the most important thing in life. That by having less, you can have more time and money to spend on things that are most important. That by living simply, you’re able to help other people in this world that don’t have the basic necessities, whether it be through conservation of resources or via time spent helping out a fellow human in need.
That life goes far beyond our immediate environments and that we can leave a lasting impression on those we least expect. That we are here to help and serve each other in this crazy world, because life isn’t always easy. That one day, God will make everything just and perfect, and we just need to have faith in Him thoughout it all.
I’m far from perfect. I know that I’m going to stumble along the way and probably embarrass myself on multiple occasions. But hopefully those who know me can look past my imperfections and see a heart that thrives upon helping others and bringing joy and comfort to those around me. That is when I feel truly fulfilled.
So I will continue to embrace this Renaissance. I seek to purge my life from meaningless “stuff,” fill my pantry with nourishing food, maximize time spent with loved ones, value quality over quantity and enjoy creating beautiful things. Like Rome, I am ready to be altered irreversibly.
What legacy do you want to leave on this earth? How can you alter your life to make it more meaningful?