Take a deep breath. Take another one, but slower and more deliberate. Pause for a few moments and feel your chest rise and fall. Do you feel that? That’s the movement of life, your life, and it’s an extraordinary gift, but it’s a rather strange gift. We’re not sure what we’re supposed to do with it. As far as we can tell, you didn’t ask for this life, body, or place here on earth, but here you are wandering around this planet, doing your best to make sense of this strange phenomenon.
Since the beginning of time, humans have asked that million-dollar question, “What is the meaning of us being here? What is the purpose?”
Shakespeare said, “Life is but a passing shadow, a fool player that frets and struts his hour up on stage and is heard no more.”
In Ecclesiastes, King Solomon who is named the wisest and wealthiest king in history comes in strong with his dismal lamenting about our purpose here, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!”
No matter how many philosophers and theologians ponder this elusive mystery, they all seem to come up with nothing more than a few morsels of food for the soul, so we continue to search for our meaning. We continue to look for the answers because there’s something inside of us that knows it’s not enough just to breathe. There’s more to this life than merely existing. It just doesn’t make sense to be born, circle around the sun several dozen times, and die. Because if we were like the trees in the forest or the deer in the field, we’d be content with living out our days in peace under the sun, but you long to live a life beyond that.
You long for a life you love and is something beautiful. You want your life to matter. You long to live a life with meaning and purpose, to know that your life will leave a lasting impact. It looks like there isn’t much more than flesh, bones, and hair, but there’s something else happening under the surface of your skin, a stirring, a desire for something more than meets the eye. It’s “eternity set in the hearts of men.”
But what is it? How can you be sure that what you long for is real or that there’s an answer to what you’re seeking because life seems to be full of disappointments and discouragements?
You long for an abundant life. I know this because I, too, long for it. You want to be excited to wake up in the morning, you want to feel alive, and as you take your last breath, you want to smile at the beautiful life you’re leaving behind. That longing is a seed planted inside of you when the Divine breathed life into you. A seed for an abundant life.
Just as the acorn grows into a sprawling oak tree, your life too holds the seed for abundance. You can feel it, you long to fulfill it, for that desire is God himself seeking to express himself through you. You are a temple, and your life is a cathedral for the indwelling of the Divine. People struggle to achieve the life they desire because they don’t believe they can have something better or don’t know where to begin discovering this abundant life. It’s all too overwhelming and too elusive.
Life is meant to be full. Full of Love, happiness, and peace with all the thrill of a life well-lived. It’s not meant to be dreaded with misery and lack, but you’ll never live an abundant and full life if you can’t see what you’re building. The spark of life will fade if you don’t have a direction or purpose for your days.
I read this story a few years back. It gave me a clear vision of what it means to manifest the abundant life that Jesus promised.
The Tale of Two Masons
A man came across two masons who were working at chipping chunks of granite from large blocks. The first seemed unhappy at his job, chipping away and frequently looking at his watch.
When the man asked what it was that he was doing, the first mason responded, rather curtly, “I’m hammering this stupid rock, and I can’t wait ’til I can go home.”
The second mason was hammering at his block fervently, taking time to stand back and admire his work. He chipped off small pieces until he was satisfied that it was the best he could do. When questioned about the work, he stopped, gazed skyward, and proudly proclaimed, “I am building a cathedral.”Author Unknown
Jesus told a story of a man going on a distant journey, and before he left, he entrusted three men with some talents, whatever talents are, money maybe. One man was given one talent, the second man two talents, and the third man five talents. Now, they didn’t own these talents. They were keepers of these mysterious gifts, sort of like the manager of McDonald’s. While their master was away, the one with five talents doubled them. The man with two talents, double his. It was the man with one talent who failed to build & increase his gift. He buried it, and when it was time to give an account for what he did with his talent, he offered back exactly what he was given. That man Jesus called a “wicked & lazy servant.”
You, too, have been given a gift that you don’t own — your life. Even though it is yours to live, you know that ultimately, you don’t have control over how and when it ends, and you have no idea what lies on the other side of your last breath. You’re simply a manager of this talent called life. You didn’t have a say in what you were given, and you don’t need me to tell you that it’s never an equal hand, but it’s not what life hands you that matters. It’s what you do with it that matters.
Even though it’s up to you to build your life into the beautiful cathedral you desire, it’s not yours. You don’t hold the deed. You’re simply a tenant, a servant to the collective universe. You didn’t earn this life, and you’re not entitled to it. You arrived standing on the shoulders of everyone who’s come before you. You’re one piece in the divine jigsaw puzzle of life. The cathedral you build isn’t yours. It’s your gift of gratitude to God and those who’ve come before you. And it’s your gift to those who will come after you.
You have two options with your life: chip at stones or build a cathedral.
It’s all how you decide to look at it.