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marveling at something

November 1, 2010

“I want to go some place where I can marvel at something.”  These words were part of a preview I saw recently for the movie Eat, Pray, Love.  They were strung together with other lines from the movie to create the foundation of dissatisfaction the main character had for her life, which initiated her year-long journey across the world to find herself and became the premise for the book and now movie.  They are words many including myself can relate to, but considering the context in which they were spoken, I found them heartbreaking.

The author was bemoaning her situation to a friend, claiming she never had time to figure herself out.  She didn’t know what she wanted or who she was because she spent her life going from one relationship to the next.  She was discontent with her life.  And in this woe-is-me rant, she says with great longing, “I want to go some place where I can marvel at something.”

I admit I struggle with being content as much as the next person.  This past week for some reason was especially difficult.  I had been out-of-town all weekend and came home to an uncommonly busy work week.  My trip wasn’t exhausting by any means.  On the contrary, I was revitalized by the time spent with wonderful friends.  Perhaps that is why I was moping all week: I wished I could have had a few more days to enjoy their company but instead I was working extra long and stressful days.  But even in the midst of my restlessness, I continually marveled at the moments of joy and beauty that filled my week.

I was reminded of one of my favorite John Paul II quotes which has been in the forefront of my mind the past few weeks: “Beauty is a key to mystery and a call to transcendence.  It is an invitation to savor life and to dream of the future.”  It is so easy for us to become blind to the everyday beauty that surrounds us.  This blindness makes it difficult to appreciate the people and things that fill our lives, like the woman from the movie.  How my heart ached for her!  Even if she tasted contentment on her journey of discovery, would she really be able to savor it or would it pass quickly sending her off on another search?

I used to subscribe to her mentality, but have learned to find beauty in every moment, even when those moments seem void of all that is lovely.  I was grateful for the reminder when I came across that preview that I haven’t wasted my life waiting to savor the wonders of life.  I don’t have to go some place else to marvel at something; I can marvel at something every day and I enjoy my life as it is, even when I am slightly restless.

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