Friday, May 25, 2007

How Important is My Life?

How important is my life?

I want to be clear that the question is rhetorical. I am a bit afraid that a reader or two might decide to tell me how important they think my life is. Regardless of the nature of the assessment, I would struggle mightily with it. I am already struggling. Please do not throw an anchor to this drowning man.

I fervently believe that God commands me to love him and to love my neighbor as I love myself. I cannot believe that a loving, almighty, all knowing God would send me off on a fruitless errand. However, I can all too easily believe that I am failing to obey his commandments as well as I might. I want to love God. I want to love my neighbor. It seems that I have only a few ways to show my love for either.

I realize more and more that listening is important. God's voice seems elusive. I believe the difficulty is all the competing noise and voices in my mind. Hearing humans is straightforward. However, it can be very difficult to care enough about them to listen for what they are really saying rather than listening for what I want to hear or for an opportunity to add my own comments.

Speaking words of encouragement to humans and speaking words of praise to God are another fundamental way to show my love. It is very sad to think how often I have failed to use my ability to speak for the purposes of encouraging or praising. Often I complain, denigrate, or argue. It may be worse still to use the gift of speech to justify my actions or to glorify myself. I am certain that God is calling me to a season of my life where my greatest contribution to others will be my ability to encourage them. I pray that he enables me to speak encouragement.

Serving is another way to show love. God assures me that when I serve the lowest of the low, I am in fact serving the king of kings. I find joy in serving. However, I tend to find it easier to serve those that I believe to be most deserving. I pray that God enables me to prefer others without expecting them to meet standards that I set.

Giving, forgiving, and forbearing are all worthy ways to love others. May God grace me with the ability to do each more and more.

How important is my life? The more I love, the more important it is. I thank God for giving that purpose and that significance to my time here on earth.
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