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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thinking deep thoughts...about the meaning of life

Do you have days where you just think about life, it's stresses and worries, all the hard work we do... what the meaning of life is....and then wonder if like the author of Ecclesiastes in the Bible we will also see it as "vanity and striving after wind." Then I begin to wonder how will I be remembered when I am gone...what is the inheritance I leave behind?

I start looking at what "success" is....Emerson's definition of success is: "To laugh much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affections of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give one's self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition.; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived--this is to have succeeded." I must say I like his take on it...

I think it has a lot to do with character....not who you say you are...but who you truly are. Steven Covey says: " Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconcious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character." So how much character do we have....most likely only those close to you will be able to answer that question, because that is the only time you really allow the TRUE YOU to show. J.R. Miller says the following of character: "The only thing that walks back from the grave with the mourners and refuses to be buried, is the character of a man." So does that mean that one day we will be remembered by our character?

As a Christian I believe that the only character we are allowed to have is in accordance to what the Word of God teaches us...how possible is it to attain that? J.R. Miller says the following: "Full hands at the end of a life do not always tell of true success. Earthy failure is of times higher success in God’s eyes than what men regards as success. Scars of wounds gotten in conflict and strife with sin are more splendid marks of honors, when the hands are held up before God, than diamonds and gold and crowns gained by yielding in life conflicts. Strive to get your hands filled with the invisible things of God’s heavenly kingdom. Fight the battle of life heroically, and never mind the scars. Better have wounded and empty hands that are clean than hands that are full and yet are stained with sin."

So if we abide in the Word we will be in the safest place and our character will be build so that we will be conformed to the image of Christ. This is what J.R. Miller says about the safest place: "The safest place in all this world is ever the place of duty. God’s wings are over it. God’s place guards it. It is said that at the center of the cyclone there is a spot where there is almost perfect calm. A leaf there is scarcely stirred, and a baby would lie there unharmed. So at the center of every great peril in the life is a spot of holy calm where even the feeblest would not be harmed. It is the place of duty, of obedience, of doing of God’s will. He who stays there amid peril and trial is perfectly safe. No storm smites him; no plague comes nigh his dwelling. The way of duty is always a place of absolute safety. None of sin’s ways are safe."

So what is the answer to the meaning of life. I believe we were created for God's pleasure...what pleases Him is for us to be obedient to His Will...His Word is His Will. While on earth I want to be His hands and feet to those who are poor, weak and defenseless...I want to make a difference...

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