From the human point of view, life appears futile; and it is easy for us to get pessimistic. The Jewish writer Sholom Aleichem once described life as “a blister on top of a tumor, and a boil on top of that.” You can almost feel that definition!
The American poet Carl Sandburg compared life to “an onion—you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.” And British playwright George Bernard Shaw said that life was “a series of inspired follies.”
What a relief to turn from these pessimistic views and hear Jesus Christ say, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Or to read Paul’s majestic declaration, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58).
Do you have a dream? You need one. Dreams give hope. They display a powerful image of what life can be. Has your dream been shattered? Worse yet, has your dream turned into a nightmare and come true? For all of us dreamers, there is hope.
We need to find meaning and purpose! It gives us daily direction. It gives us worth.
Life is “not in vain” if it is lived according to the will of God! This mind-set makes all the difference! It gives us a focus as we wake each morning and begin pondering the new day. It makes calculation easier when we wonder what lies ahead – and helps erase those things past, over which we no longer have control.
A little girl was working very hard and could not be induced to stop and rest. This was before the day of electric lights. When asked, “Why do you not stop and rest?” she replied, “I have just one little candle, and it will soon be burned out. I wish to do what I can while the candle burns.” So it is with us. Our little day will soon be gone. May we do what we can while the candle burns.
the rim trying to reach everybody. But God says, “Start in the hub; live in the hub. Then you will be connected with all the spokes, and you won’t have to run so fast.”
If we make that choice, we might prefer to adopt the positive lifestyle of Jeanne Hendricks, who said that “Living is not a spectator sport. No one, at any price, is privileged to sit in the stands and watch the action from a distance. Being born means being a participant in the arena of life, where opposition is fierce and winning comes only to those who exert every ounce of energy. “
Or perhaps we like the Yiddish Proverb: “Life is the biggest bargain. We get it for nothing.”
Abraham Lincoln had ten guidelines by which he lived and governed his life. He followed these guidelines until the day he died:
1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
2. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
3. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
5. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
7. You cannot further the brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
8. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.