So, will I live for the transaction or will I live to be transformed?  At the beginning of each new year I try to set aside some time to reflect on what question would be good to keep at the forefront of my thought as I enter into and move my way through the year ahead of me.  This simple step over the years has proven to be invaluable as I’ve sought to stop and take inventory of the past and look ahead with a greater sense of purpose, to create a greater sense of value for my life.  And doing so has enabled me to get out of the daily weeds and stay somewhat focused on the bigger picture of life.  A recent years question was the one asked above; “will I live for the transaction or will I live to be transformed.”  As we consider the implications of this question, it is certainly true that life is dealt out in a series of transactions, many of which are of great value in and of themselves.  But what matters most when we look back is whether or not we or someone else has been changed by the cumulative effect of the transactions of our life. In other words, has there been an element of transformation in our life or have we been used as an agent of transformation in the life of another.  Let’s simply consider our encounters with people.  Do we see people as a means to an end (transactional thinking) or do we see people as worthy of being encouraged and seek to affirm their worth (transformational thinking).  All of us, after all, are of infinite worth!  Do we view our encounters with people as interruptions or invitations into each other’s life story?  There is much of the “larger story” of life that is being written each day as we engage the world around us.  The design of life is such that each of us is used in the lives of each other to help shape our own individual stories and the larger story of living.  Perhaps you might consider the implications of this question in your own life.  I can certainly attest to the fact that this foundational (and possibly transformational) question has certainly proven to be a good guidepost for me as I’ve sought to become more of the person I’ve been designed to be.  Peace.