He scheduled coffee to ask the question – Is this all there is?
As he spoke he waved his arms and looked all around what we call our town, The Bubble, and wondered. Like many I know, his is a life of achievement. He is successful in business. He is an engaged husband and dad. In spite of these blessings – he also feels there is something more. It is common I find, especially among the motivated, to realize upon reaching a goal there is something more ahead. Either the first achievement did not provide all the satisfaction thought, or it becomes a step toward something more.
Nevertheless, my friend is taken aback, even haunted. Is this all there is? As we talked he realized in his gut he believed, even knew, there was something more – the difficulty was knowing how to find it. Welcome to humanity – blessed, yet lost.
He continued to talk. I continued to listen. Ultimately, we landed on a thought to consider.
Satisfaction is found when we serve not ourselves. It sounded Yoda-ish, but true. My friend really is a good husband and dad, not perfect, but good. Even with these blessings, however, he still feels there is more. The reason for this is that his wife and kids love him back. And as weird as it sounds, when we get something in return for our love it leaves us a little wanting. Jesus put it this way,
Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. – Luke 6:34-36, The Message
Meaning is made when we love without expectation of return.
This is my prayer this week. If I work hard, I expect recognition. If I speak well, I expect praise. I pray that will change because I wonder – if I help and give without expectation will I discover more?
Loving without expectation is how Jesus loved, and perhaps in love like that we discover all there is?
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