We see the results of greed and avarice in life every day. Looking at those who flaunt it from Hollywood, it makes me sick. Look at the people on the different lists, such as Forbes 400 or some such list. The one question that I would like to ask all of them is this: “Are you happy?”
In truth, many of them are not. They worry about their money or their career or their investments or about whether they will win an Oscar or get on the list next year. I know that in their life and the career that many of them have chosen, these worries are legitimate concerns and I don’t begrudge them for any of that. But, have you slowed down your life enough to look around and see normal people and how they live?
Have you even considered a simpler life? One without all of the “stuff” that your house or your car or even your closet is full of now? I don’t mean giving away everything, because many of us won’t or couldn’t do that, but just cut back on the amount that you have. I mean, I know some of you collect cars but what can you do with fifty or one hundred cars other than dust them off and run their engines once or twice a year?
I think Thoreau had the best idea when he went into the woods for a few years alone and just lived simply. He certainly found out a lot about himself and what he could do without, and I think many of us need to do that too. Whether we will do it or even if we can do it is another thing altogether! This is one of those ideas that sounds good on paper, but when you think about it seriously most of the time it turns out to be hard to do.
Our lives should be simpler, easier to deal with on a daily basis but the times that we live in are not so easy to simplify. So, I ask you: What would you be willing to give up?
Many people would want to know what will they get in return for giving up something regardless of what they give up, so to that I would say: whatever you seek. In relation to that answer, I don’t mean to imply that giving up something will get you something else in this life, particularly if you are seeking after riches or other “stuff” that the world recognizes as rewards for doing something. What I am speaking of is seeking after the Creator, which is what our soul…our spirit feels empty without that relationship.
This is the very reason that many people are constantly searching for happiness in life or wealth or fame or alcohol and drugs. We feel empty without God in our lives, but until we know Who we are searching for we don’t have a clue regarding where to look or what to look for, let alone Who to seek out. When you do finally get to the point of knowing that you can’t fill that place with anything that you do, many of us feel the need to cry out “Where are You?” or “What will fill me with Peace?”. Sometimes we find Him waiting patiently for us, but sometimes we are misled by Satan to follow a path which leads in the opposite direction.
It depends upon your ability to hear Him or your willingness to hear His voice. Why do I put it this way? Because God is not loud and boisterous like the ruler of this world is. We may notice a feeling or a pull toward looking for God in the Bible or at a church, but a friend or an event will scream loudly in your desirous heart for you to do or go somewhere else. It says, “Step of this path and follow me, it won’t be but just this once”, but eventually your steps will lead you so far away until you will feel like God won’t take me now.
Yes, He will. God used Moses who murdered an Egyptian, He used David who committed adultery and murder, He used Samson who ignored his Nazarite vows and did as he pleased until he was a slave to those that he was supposed to protect Israel from. God used a man by the name of Saul, a Pharisee who was zealous for getting rid of the people who followed the “Way”, and he ended up writing half of the New Testament! Yes, God can use you and your talent for His Kingdom and His purposes and it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past.
Give your heart and your life to Jesus and the rest of your life will be useful to Him. Forget about your past failures or your failings and get on with living for God. Even if your life ends sooner than you think, if someone sees your Christian walk while you are living then your life, however short, will not have been useless to Him.