Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our life: a gift from God

When I was a teen I read a story in a magazine about someone who had done something to help disadvantaged people. I don't remember the details of the story but I clearly remember thinking to myself how I would like to do something to make a difference. Here I was, a shy (or depressed) young girl with social phobia, afraid to speak up in class, but wanting one day to do something really special to help others.

On Sunday Pastor Don talked about how this was true for many of us when we were in our teens and early twenties, before we became consumed with responsibilities. We wanted to make the world a better place. Yet so many of us get distracted as we get older. We need to make an income - and we work to make the best income we can so that we can afford the many things we need. ...And then we work a little harder so that we can afford luxuries as well. Earning money is a good thing, yet - in Pastor Don's words: "What most squeezes us into the world's mold is materialism. Our materialistic drive is really what keeps us from being serviceable to God....we serve ourselves; we serve a materialistic God."

"Live with an attitude of reverence and awe for the life that's been given to you. Every day is a gift from God. God has placed a value on our life. Jesus paid for our lives by his work on the cross." Every once in a while we need to stand back and look at this life God gave us and placed so much value on. How much of what we do really matters in the final analysis? We need to set the course of our lives with the final destination in mind. Is it going to be what will earn us most money? Or are we going to live our lives so that we can make a difference?

In closing Pastor Don said, "The most significant thing you can do is to build into the lives of others." This is something every one of us can do. Peter echoes Jesus' call to love each other: "...love one another deeply, from the heart." (1Peter 1:22) This is a love that will feel others' joys as well as their pain. We can make a difference in this world and it doesn't always have to be anything grand. We can make a difference in the lives of the individuals whose lives we touch...one person at a time.

And if we do so we will find ourselves blessed.


Paula Joy said...

"One person at a time." That's exactly it, Marja. I watched this video today at: http://www.BlueRibbonMovie.com
It's about the difference one person makes. Totally worth watching.
Good post, and good to hear from you.

Nancie said...

Dear Marja,

Isn't it wonderful that God can use us to make a difference in someone else life? We are instruments in the hands of a mighty God. And surely you have touched many lives by your love and kindness, and the good work you are doing through Living Room and your blog. May God bless you abundantly!


Alison said...

Very true post you have written there, I admire my Godmother and wish I could be like her more. She lives over the other side of town and despite being almost 80 has helped people all her life and is still active in her local church.

When I left work last year to try and get better I told myself I wouldn’t wallow and do nothing and that I would volunteer to do something. I seem to have been more busy not being at work than being at work! Yet some days I feel like am achieving nothing!

Becca said...

Interesting post you have here. Social phobia is not easy to overcome. But you can learn from www.whatcausespanicattacks.comabout simple prevention methods. Can be pretty handy.

Anne said...

Hi Marja:

On 4/7/08, I wrote a post about the movie "The Ultimate Gift" which speaks a bit to the ideas in your post. This movie really touched me and made me think about what legacy I am leaving behind. My post provoked some interesting comments from bloggers. Enjoy!

marja said...

Paula Joy: I watched that video you recommended. You're right, it's excellent. Thank you for letting me/us know.

marja said...

Nancie: Yes, we can be God's voice, hands, and feet. Thank you for all your encouragement.

marja said...

Alison: What a wonderful inspiration to have a godmother like that! And don't forget, we don't have to be accomplishing stuff every day. It's important to have Sabbath rests as well.

marja said...

Becca: Thanks for those links. I'll look be looking them up. And welcome to my blog.

marja said...

Anne: Thank you for letting me know about that movie. We hardly ever rent movies because we're too busy or just don't know what's good out there. But I'll make a point of getting this one.