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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

Two Questions that WOKE ME UP

Today I want to talk to you about two questions that woke me up and changed my life forever.

Some people come into our lives and remain, other people come into our lives for a wonderful season and then life draws them in a new direction, and still others, cross our path for just a moment.

A few years ago, I was asked two questions that stopped me in my tracks and really challenged me to reconsider the way I was living my life.

The first question was asked of me by a complete stranger. We met and chatted for less than five minutes, but as he turned to leave, he asked me a rhetorical question: When was the last time you felt amazing?

I have not seen the man since. He crossed my path for just a moment, and in that moment he made a profound contribution to my journey simply by asking a question.

The second question was asked of me by a long-time friend. We were having one of our long chats, talking about the various things going on in our lives, and then our conversation wandered into a long pause. We both sat there in silence as we often do, reflecting on what we had been discussing, comfortable enough with each other for the quiet not to feel awkward. After about fifteen minutes, my friend looked up at me and asked: Do you feel like you are doing enough?

I don’t think I have ever felt like I was doing enough. It isn’t that I felt like I wasn’t doing enough, but rather that I had never in more than 40 years of life on this earth paused to ask the question. At the same time, for my entire adult life, I had been constantly committed to doing more. In the days, weeks, months, and years that have followed I have spent a thousand hours pondering this single question. I have discussed it with friends and colleagues. I have gone deep within to explore the insecurity behind my ongoing compulsion to do more.

That question changed my life. It continues to change my life. It teaches me new things every time I sit with it. It teaches me about life, and it teaches me about myself. One of its latest lessons: It’s possible to be doing too much and, at the same time, too little of the things that matter most.

Two questions. I could have waved them away like a fly at a barbeque on a hot summer’s day. But by some grace they penetrated my resistance and my ego, and I was able to reflect on them.

I share them with you now because I want you to know that your life can be amazing, and that like most people, you are probably doing too much and at the same time neglecting some things that are critical if you are going to flourish.

What I know for sure, is that your life won’t be amazing for any prolonged period of time without a disciplined daily routine of prayer and reflection. The other thing I know for sure, is that you won’t be focused on doing enough of the things that matter most without a disciplined daily routine of prayer and reflection.

I know you are busy. We all are. But prayer allows us to trade in busy, anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, and worried in exchange for being fully engaged in the present moment. And that’s a trade worth making.

Life is different with prayer, and a life with prayer is different.

Nothing will change your life so completely, absolutely, and forever like really learning how to pray.

Albert Einstein once remarked, “If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask. For once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

The time it takes to get clarity about ourselves and our lives is invaluable. It is worth the time. It is worth making it a priority. Set aside some specific time for prayer and reflection each day, commit it to your schedule, and honor yourself and God by honoring that commitment. It will change your life, I can promise you that. I have experienced it myself and witnessed it in thousands of other people’s lives.

Matthew Kelly

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