Saturday, November 11, 2006

Something Bigger, Something Better

No, not the game - although I have some interesting memories of playing that as a young adult.

We, at least here in the western world, have created a culture based on individualism. We value our independence so highly that it seems to have overshadowed other realities. It serves our desire to be selfish, at least short-term, and feeds our egos.

Well, Copernicus called... it seems that you are NOT the center of the universe! (me neither)

Here's what I'm getting at - the thing we seem to have lost: You are a part of something bigger than yourself. Several things, as a matter of fact. Ancient cultures seemed to know this. It's even part of the aboriginal "seven teachings". Yet, somehow we seem to have lost this perspective in a sea of fighting for our "rights".

What are these "bigger things"?

Well, for starters, you are a part of your family. You are a part of your community, your workplace or school. You may be part of a sports team, a church, a social club. You are a citizen of your city, province, and country. And ultimately you are a part of the human race, co-existing on this planet with other creatures designed to sustain life.

So why do we have such ridiculously low voter turnout? Why do we see such low recruitment numbers for military service? Why would kids rather run the streets aimlessly than volunteer their time? Why are so many corporations all about profit at any cost (besides monetary)? Why do we only see life's circumstances from the point of view of how it affects us?

Because we've forgotten. It's not all about me.

Personally, I'm going to try to remember. Maybe I can even make this "something bigger" into "something better".

Thursday, November 02, 2006


...and that more abundantly.(from John 10:10)

Ever get tripped up on that idea?

What images come to mind when you think of abundant life? Prosperity? Happiness? Health?

I wonder if we sometimes grab on to the word "abundant" and choose only the simple definition of life as being the antithesis of death. What exactly is life?

I looked it up (yeah, big surprise) and I was going to give you the plethora of meanings I found, but the very first one was where I was heading with this, so I'll just give you that one.

Life: the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.

Isn't that a truly rich definition? I mean, look at us! We're designed to grow, reproduce, and adapt to our environment! And Jesus said that he came so that we could do that "more abundantly" - or "to the full" depending on your translation.

So... what does that mean? Really, Cindy, you've gotten all excited about this because...

Because... this means that the circumstances of life, both good and bad, have a purpose. We're designed to mature (grow) and though I won't bore you with why things need challenges in order to grow strong, I will still mention it for your meditative pleasure.

Not only that - we're designed to reproduce. Now, I'm no biologist, but I think that living things need to attain a certain level of maturity before they're able to reproduce. Hence, the circumstances of life again are necessary to our basic purpose.

And, we can adapt to our environment. Get that! We're designed to learn, grow, mature, reproduce, and adjust to what's around us. That, my friends, is life.

So, if I'm understanding this correctly, we can stop questioning God's motives when the tough things come and instead see them for the tools they are. We can let them shape our characters, and as we do so we can pass that on and continue to adapt. This is what we were made for! And Jesus came so we could have more!

..."give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thess. 5:18

What?... I never said it would be easy...

Come to think of it, neither did He.