As a child, I watched the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and was struck by this feeling at the end of the film. If you recall the movie, there is a crucial scene near the end where everyone shows up in a big way for George Bailey. They give him money to repay what uncle Billy lost and add notes of encouragement for what he meant to their life.
For me, I could not wait for the day when something like that would happen for me. One day I will encounter a struggle, and all the people whose life I had touched would arrive at my door with gifts and letters to show me how wonderful my life has been. In a little over six months from now, I will turn 50, and I am still waiting for that day.
I have asked many older adults if that kind of event has happened for them. No one I asked had ever felt like there was this one time when all their good deeds ever came to light. The closest most people get is their funeral. If you die young enough, people will line up to pay their respects and tell the family how much you meant to them. Live too long, and only a few close friends will know your work.
Let me set the record straight; there are no “It’s a Wonderful Life” moments for most people in this life.
But don’t let that stop you. Keep doing the right thing. Every day you get up, keep being a kind, gracious, giving, faithful, loving, and helpful person. Keep serving others, especially those in need, while maintaining a humble heart. Keep seeing the good in people while trying to be a good and Godly person yourself. Stay on the journey of faith with integrity even when no one notices.
The truth is, our heavenly Father, who sees what is done in secret, will one day reward you (Matthew 6:1). It may not make this life feel wonderful, but it will make the next one worth every righteous act.