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the secret of life and how to change the world

December 3, 2007

Sarcasm, right? That’s what you think this is going to be. Nope. I’m completely serious.  

My husband and I were discussing the age old question… is this all there is? I mean even for a Christian, there seems to be a bit of pointlessness in our life here on Earth. We get up, go to work, come home, go to bed, repeat. And we’ll repeat that same pattern, or one very much like it, somewhere around 25,000 times before we die.

This whole bless it forward thing has really made me think about my approach to life. I blogged a little about this last week, but I think it is much bigger than I perceived. How do we look at the world? Suffering. Conflict. Greed. Hopelessness. Those are all words that come to my mind. But I think Jesus gave us the secret to making a difference in the world a long time ago. We just didn’t pay any attention.

Now if you don’t buy into the whole “Jesus” thing, don’t jump ship yet. I think there is value here even for people who aren’t Christians. When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.

We’ve all heard those words a thousand times. But do we ever really do what it says? When you go to Wal-Mart, what are you thinking about? Do you notice the people around you? Do you ever really even think of them as people?

What if, when you got out of bed in the morning, you set out to meet a need in someone’s life? Even something as simple as a kind word or a smile can make a difference in someone’s day. What about taking a bag of food or a cup of coffee to the “street person” you normally roll your eyes at on your way to work? What about helping someone load groceries into their car? What about a thank you note for your child’s bus driver or flowers for the older lady next door?

How would you feel at the end of a day if you lived life like this? How would the person you helped feel? Can you imagine how many lives you could touch if you helped one person each day? 25,000 days. 25,000 people. And what if some of those people decided to pass on the kindness?

Jesus told us to live like this a long time ago. What would our world be like if we actually did?

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