So .. this One Day @ a Time blog is my attempt to do a thought for every day of the year.
So far, I've managed it, but 21 days does not a year make!
As I hope people will enjoy and maybe even be inspired by a daily thought, reading, poem and more, I also want to share some of the readings and people who have inspired me on a day-to-day basis.
As a Christian, I find daily inspiration in reading scripture and prayers, but there are also other publications and people to whom I also turn from time to time.
Have you ever heard of Marcus Aurelius? He was a first century Roman Emperor but in his lifetime he also acquired a reputation for being a philosopher, in the Stoic tradition. His renown continued after his death and even some early Christians admired him not just as a philosophic but also as a philanthropic leader.
While on a war campaign (between 170 and 180AD), Marcus wrote his Meditations in Greek, firstly as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. Although it's not known how widely these writings were circulated during his own lifetime, they have been handed down the centuries and today they are still very popular. Just check out the internet ... there are loads of sites which include his sayings and epigrams.
Some I find difficult and even challenging, mostly because of the two thousand years or thereabouts between the authoring and my reading of them, and the contexts of the times Marcus and I were/are living through.
But some of his 'Meditations' are surprisingly 'modern' and completely up to date and perfect for the early 21st century. I bet Marcus didn't expect to be so relevant for so long when he scribbled his thoughts all those years ago!
Take this one from Book 8 of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.
This could really have been written for today, couldn't it?
We know there are lots of people who are obsessed with leaving their mark on the world, and spend every living moment thinking about the future, trying to ensure people will remember them.
Being ambitious is not a bad thing, of course, but if it is all consuming and we are always reaching for the 'next thing' and believe that the grass is always greener in the next field, maybe this prevents us from just enjoying the life we have - right now.
Even back in the first century, Marcus Aurelius seems to have recognised this trait of human nature.
And his advice is as sound today as it was all those years ago.
'Give yourself a gift: the present moment'
Today I'm going to try to do that. Moment by moment. To appreciate what I have, not worry about the things I do not have. Not being concerned about what people might think of me, or say about me.
Just to breathe in the joy of life. Right now!