Isn’t this what we all are doing? Isn’t living defined as making your way through life as best you can? Living to provide for yourself and your family? Living to hopefully enjoy some of the fruit of your labor? Or is there more to living than this mere existence?
Isn’t everybody workin’ for the weekend?
If you read a Bible book mentioned in the last post, Ecclesiastes, you will find that the wisest and wealthiest king who ever lived concluded that all of the things he worked for, all the things he accumulated, all of the things that brought him pleasure, contributed to the quantity of his life but not to the quality of his life.
Yes, he enjoyed the stuff, as he had an incredible amount of it and used it freely, but in the end it all left him…
You don’t have the wealth of Solomon, or the wisdom, but can you relate? Will you be honest with yourself and admit that the amassing of stuff makes you happy-for a few seconds-but then drives you to amass even more? Will you see how this constant drive for more, more, more really doesn’t satisfy, but instead brings stress, angst, and sadness?
Can you see what Solomon saw? That life, if lived for what can be gained, for what satisfies the flesh, for what serves us alone, really isn’t living at all, but is merely existing?
So what does it mean to truly live?
To live is to give.
Giving is serving. Giving is helping. Giving is investing. Giving is living.
Think about it. Most people derive greater pleasure from giving the perfect gift than receiving the perfect gift. When we see the joy expressed by those we love upon receiving something from us, it charges us up. When we give something of ourselves-our time, our talent, our love-expressed in a gift that we have made instead of bought, they light up.
Watch a child give something to their parents that they have made. Is there greater joy for a parent than that? The interesting aspect of this joy is that the quality of the gift pales in comparison to the investment the giver made. It’s here that real love for another is most clearly seen.
Living is giving. Will you begin living today?