Read John 15: 1-17
Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
– Matthew 10:39
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms
– 1 Peter 4:10
It had been a warm and sunny fall day. As I drove into the driveway about suppertime, I noticed a large pile of nut shells from one of the many species of trees in the driveway. Apparently, some critter had found comfort, safety, and warmth in the midst of my driveway: basking in the sun; enjoying a feast. Many animals are fattening up before the long winter sets in.
Seeing the pile of nut shells, I began to think about what was inside the shell: the possibility of new life or assistance for continued life. The insides of the nut shell became food for the critter to fatten him/her up so they might be able to withstand the cold winter. Other nuts hold the possibility of new life and given the right circumstances will reproduce to make another tree. So goes the cycle of life.
It made me wonder and think about the possibilities that we hold within ourselves. God has entrusted us to keep the cycle of life continuing: to give new life or assist in helping life continue here on earth by aiding and/or serving another. Many of us do. However, many of us do not, or we do so to the bare minimum. We try and contain what we have been given, holding close and safe guarding what we have been entrusted with. Other folks are discriminative to whom they will share as if we are called to judge who deserves and who doesn’t (there is Scripture against judging: Matthew 7:1). How many of us stay closed, trying to keep what we have to ourselves and to stay safe? We guard our insides, our feelings, our thoughts, our dreams, our hopes. How many of us put so much energy into self-preservation, we lose the call to give life to another?
I think when Jesus is talking about giving our life away; it is not necessarily our physical life, but a call to give our hopes, our dreams, and/or our gifts away: to be used towards aiding the life of another. Often as we give of ourselves to another, we find ourselves filled.
Looking at the pile of nut shells in my driveway, I was saddened to think of how many dreams, hopes, life giving skills are never shared in the world. Do you have a dream, do you have an idea, do you have a hope? I want to hear it! It may be the answer God wants the world to hear so that new life many come about.
In Christ’s Love and Light,