JosMediterraneanSeaCollageAs I was working on my laptop the other day, I glanced up to see the continuous play of some of my family’s vacation pictures on my PCs screen saver. Flashing on the screen that particular day were the above pictures taken of me swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.

The pictures caught my eye because I was really captivated by my unrestrained smile. My day suddenly came to a stop as the thought struck me, “What caused that unrestrained smile? And, what would happen if I lived my whole life in the same frame of mind I had when the pictures were taken?”

In order for you to understand the full impact of that question, I’ve written below some of the thoughts causing my unrestrained smile, and how they apply to my life now.

On my mind while swimming in the Mediterranean Sea: “This is THE amazing and huge Mediterranean Sea and I am swimming in it; it is truly a gorgeous sea, surrounded by towering, beautiful mountains.”

Application to my current life: Truly, life itself is a “huge sea”, and the mere fact that I am swimming in the sea of life causes me to stop and think. This is a big world, and there are people dying (physically, spiritually, and mentally) all around me; then, there is the economy, which is causing its share of virtual “deaths” every day. Yet, here I am, swimming in this vast “sea” of life; and I am above water, not drowned, but still up and swimming vigorously – isn’t that very fact worth a pause in my day? I know that you are also a survivor in some way, shape, or form; why not stop your day right now, and reflect on how grateful you are that you are even alive?

Further, I asked myself, what if I was to look at each day as though I am surrounded by a gorgeous sea and surrounding mountains? Let me explain…

For me, the towering mountains are symbolic of my amazing brothers and father, who have strength of heart and soul, and are always there for me; the gorgeous sea is like my beautiful sisters and mother, who are endless in their loveliness, steadiness, and depth, and who allow me to “swim” through their lives on a daily basis. What are the mountains and sea in your own life for which you can pause a moment today and be thankful for?

On my mind while swimming in the Mediterranean Sea: “My brothers and sisters are here with me in the Mediterranean Sea, and this is a moment we will remember for the rest of our lives.”

Application to my current life: The experience of being in that sea was an immensely unique – almost surreal – experience, and I was sharing it with those who I loved most on this whole earth. As the pictures flashed across my screen, I had to pause while I was struck with the fact that I have the opportunity to daily experience my life with those I love the most – my siblings and my parents. Every day, I can take each moment I’m living, and appreciate it as its own unique experience, while sharing it with those I love.

No matter what you’re facing in your life right now, no matter how busy you may be, take the time to really appreciate the moments in your day with those people in your life that mean the most to you, and really capture in your heart what is happening right now.

On my mind while swimming in the Mediterranean Sea: “My God is pretty good to me that He’d give me this moment in time to cherish.”

Application to my current life: I didn’t get to that moment in the Sea all through my own efforts; indeed, I believe in an omnipresent God, the Creator of the Universe, my Lord Jesus Christ. It is He who brought me through all the good times and bad, to that one specific point in my life where I was able to have the privilege of swimming in the Mediterranean Sea; and it is He who brings me to each specific moment I have every day. I encourage you to take a moment today and thank God for where you are in your life right now; even if you are facing difficult times, because, somewhere, on the other side of this difficult time, there is a “Mediterranean Sea swimming” experience.

On my mind while swimming in the Mediterranean Sea: “I didn’t get here without intense, hard work – literal sweat, blood, and tears.”

Application to my current life: I wasn’t able to experience an extraordinary moment like swimming in the Mediterranean Sea because I was handed life on a silver platter; rather, I, and others throughout my life, poured blood, sweat, and tears into my life in order for me to even get half way across the world, let alone swim in that sea. For years, my family and I worked together to create companies from scratch, and then grew the companies to their success by putting our all into the effort. In order for me to experience that intense moment of joy in the Sea, my family and I had to make many sacrifices, and disregard many naysayers.

As I looked at the pictures, I thought to myself that one doesn’t get anywhere in life without that kind of sacrifice in some way, shape, or form. I then started thinking about what sacrifices I can make today, and in what areas of my life, so that I can experience that same depth of joy. I encourage you to ask yourself what sacrifices you need to make in your own life in order to get to the places in your life where you desire to be.

Until next time,