Enrich Your Personal Life Part II
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might."1
It is purpose—not wealth or success—that makes life worthwhile. Purpose makes even drudgery acceptable and is an immunization against many sicknesses. How then can we find more meaning and purpose to life? The following tips can help:
Getting out of yourself. Another grandmother I know had a large family to bring up and was widowed reasonably early in life. She had her share of heartaches but never allowed these to get her down. She lived a full and active life and had a wonderful gift for passing on cheer to those around her. Her secret was helping other people. She was an active member of her church and had a deep conviction that one of the basic purposes of the church was to help people less fortunate than herself. One way she did this was through years of hospital visitation to pass on a word of comfort to the sick.
No matter how busy we are or how many problems we have, we can all find little ways to bring cheer to those around us—like bringing home a rose for your wife, a special treat for the children, a favor for a neighbor. Visit someone who is shut-in. Write a note, use your telephone, or send an email to tell a friend you appreciate him or her. Words of encouragement and acts of kindness do wonders for both the giver and the receiver.
A vital part of finding happiness and contentment is found in discovering something more important than yourself to believe in, by helping others, and by directing your thoughts and actions towards them. Egotists are seldom happy.
Love and friendship are also essential for giving life meaning and purpose. Without wholesome relationships, which give us a sense of belonging, we live as islands alone in a very large universe.
So take time for friends. They are a priceless asset in life. "Do you want to make friends?" asks Dale Carnegie, who gives the following advice. "Be friendly. Forget yourself. You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you."
And remember, as another has said, "The person all wrapped up in himself makes a very small package."
To be concluded …
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to live life beyond myself, love people, and therein serve you by serving others. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV).