I spent the last four days cleaning out a downstairs room in my mother’s house that was crammed with a lifetime’s worth of my dad’s stuff. He died four years ago and had been a pack-rat extraordinaire. A big percentage of what I sifted through was family history, which I will organize in the very near future.
As I turned the pages of an old photo album, long-gone relatives, youthful and smiling, stared back at me. Many of the photos were from the 1800s and it struck me how their lives back then were just as vibrant and alive as our lives are today. Yet their sepia-toned world doesn’t quite seem real; it’s hard to imagine a time when people dressed and looked like that. Unfortunately, I can’t truly connect to that world because the vast majority of photos are not labeled and we have no idea who these people are. The years flew by and now these “sepia people” who I owe my very existence to have faded away into the mists of the past, almost as if they had never been.
My mother is seventy-seven. My sister, single and childless, is fifty-three, a year older than me. My daughter Erin, my only child, will be thirty in a few weeks; she’s getting married in a month and plans on having children. So there’s hope that there will be generations to come who we can pass the family archives to. But right now, it’s just the four of us, plus Kate, Erin’s mom, another dedicated keeper of the flame of our family’s history. All these precious family artifacts—photos, birth certificates, marriage documents, graduation announcements, countless letters—are tremendously important to us but meaningless to anyone else.
It’s an eerie feeling, but some day a yet-unborn descendent may look at my photos, shrug, and toss them in the trash along with the letters I wrote, the letters that reveal my character, my heart, my dreams. And the world won’t even blink, it will just keep on moving. And that’s okay. Because the part of me that’s really important will live on in my daughter, my daughter’s children, and my daughter’s children’s children. And the good that I put out into the world will live on in the people whose lives I touched in a meaningful way; any positive changes I inspired them to make will live on in their descendants as well.
Just as the life that pulses in our bodies goes back to the beginnings of the Earth, so too does that same heartbeat carry the pulse of those that come after. By the power of our imagination, we can sense the future generations breathing with the rhythm of our own breath or feel them hovering like a cloud of witnesses. . . . Sometimes I fancy that if I were able to turn my head suddenly, I would glimpse them over my shoulder.
And that’s the point. It’s not about me. It’s about being a force for good in the world and helping each generation be a little more positive, a little more loving, a little more peaceful then the one that came before it. These last few days have been humbling and liberating. They have also heightened my sense of urgency—the hourglass has only so much sand and there is work yet to be done.
Travelers, it is late. Life’s sun is going to set. During these brief days that you have strength, be quick and spare no effort of your wings.
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ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
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THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
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Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.