Too many times and too often, we measure life by what we have achieved or obtained. Although elements of that are important, if what we have achieved isn’t partially comprised of what we have contributed, we’ll find much of life being rather empty. The human spirit is not made to be a “taker” or to merely exist. Show me a functionally depressed person and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t give enough…although he’ll think he gives too much!! Life itself is a big “exchange,” a big give and take. A real key to happiness and satisfaction in life is to get ahead of the natural exchange and be a “giver.”
Even if a person is a natural giver, it’s important to find a purpose in life bigger than one’s self. It isn’t hard to find worthy purposes; they are all around us. If you have children, there’s perhaps no bigger purpose. The problem is that we easily get consumed with our own desires and purposes and we quickly no longer serve a purpose bigger than self. Even with our children, too many selfishly look forward to the time they turn eighteen and are out of the house, rather than serving the parental purpose they have while the children are there.
Serving the parental purpose is not the same as serving the parents. Parents shouldn’t seek to primarily serve the children or the parents. They should seek to serve the Right way to parent. The misguided goal of primarily serving the parents or the children, rather than the children’s righteous outcome, often winds up disastrous. It divides many marriages in the process too.
It’s good to remember that we are designed to have a purpose bigger than just breathing the air around us and taking up space. Serving the righteous outcome of others does wonders for the human spirit and makes us a “giver” rather than a “taker” or “exchanger.”