We cannot know the experience of another. We build our own lives one experience upon the other differing somewhat from the rest. Not only this is true, but also that we are put together differently, uniquely, individually so each self and life prove to be one of a kind.
Life is a challenging gift. The unique marriage between person and experience adds complexity and diversity ever changing with the passing of days. Even tomorrow, I will be further along than I am today, changed a bit because of more engagement in both the world of thought and the relational world in which I am embedded.
I’ve come to believe purposeful living is necessary for not wasting; not wasting time, not wasting resources, not wasting opportunity. May we learn what matters most and build lives that bless.
Thoughtfulness and care are costly both in time and energy, but in the long run they can buy peace. Money cannot buy peace, others cannot give us peace, but scripture teaches us there is a path that leads to peace for those who are willing to walk it.
I studied proverbs many years ago and a verse has stayed with me, coming back to mind time and again. It reads, “without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” 15:22
The Good Lord clearly intended relationship for us; relationship with Him and relationship with one another. He taught humility highlighting for us our need to listen to Him and to listen to others, to measure all things against His written word and the life of Jesus. Love, truth, and honor cannot be separated. They are all part of the same whole that secures us in relationships and anchors our lives in integrity.
I was reading and hearing in news about a possible worldwide financial collapse. Noah had noticed some book titles on the subject displayed at Barnes and Noble so he had some questions. I spent time talking with him this afternoon and honestly saying economic volatility is a very real thing. He seemed so concerned. I sat with him, listened, and then shared what is always in my heart and ever on my mind. Son, I said to him, we are to live lives of integrity, doing our best, loving one another and obeying God regardless of the financial or political conditions of the world around us. Made by God and for Him, we must trust Him and His wisdom independent of our circumstances. I reminded him of the struggles in past generations and of many in our world right now.
Its amazing how one frank discussion based in reality can put the frivolity of much that distracts us in proper perspective. Most arguments and complaints are illegitimate, serving only to pull our attention away from what matters most. We spend so much time, energy, and money on “things” that will satisfy momentarily, maybe for a couple of hours, maybe even a few weeks or months, and then we find the old nagging want returning again, beckoning us to embark on another pursuit that will bring us right back to this place a little later on, but older, more tired, and often with empty pockets.
One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was to get off of the roller coaster I just detailed. I’ve learned that what nourishes the soul is what satisfies forever; investing in the hearts and minds of others so that they, too, can find the rich gifts of peace and contentment; counting the abundant gifts that are free to all, and for them giving thanks. These intangible gifts, these gifts that are as other-focused as they are self-focused, are the ones I hold most dear. You and me, we equally matter; made by the same Creator and loved by the same Savior. May we live this way and care as much for one as we care for another.