Monday, April 2, 2012

Hangin' Your Soul On the Line

by Janielle Beh on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 8:04am ·

Graham Nash's 'Wild Tales' album asked a vital question:

But is the money you make worth the price that you pay?
Can you make it to the end of the line?
Don't the wind blow cold
When you're hanging your soul on the line?

What incredibly insightful lyrics! It reminds me of what Jesus said, one of my favorite quotes, 'What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?'

THAT is the question we must all have a little muse on. Life goes on unless we decide to pause for a bit and evaluate things. You don't want to get to the end and realize that you've missed out the most important bits in life, you've lost vital relationships and friendships with people, or you've never considered that in all your pursuit of 'happiness' and success, you have neglected the well-being of your very own soul.

Is it worth it, the money you make, or the accolades you receive, or the success you achieve, for the price that you pay? What is that price? That is, in all your temporary pursuit, you have given away your true identity and calling and purpose.

G.K. Chesterton wisely said something like this, 'We must stop trying to live the life we have planned, so that we might live the life that is waiting for us.'

A lot of us are running after one thing to another in hopes of finding our niche, our passion, our purpose. Perhaps we are looking in the wrong places or at the wrong times. Maybe the best thing to do is pause, and ask God for wisdom, instead of relying on our own strength or the opinions of mere men.

Here's the thing, I realize that I shouldn't be looking for the blueprints of my life or everything set in stone. God doesn't give us everything at once. That's the beauty of how God works with us, and that's the liberation as well as the frustration we face. It is liberating to know that God has given us free will, we still choose as we go, we experience new things. God doesn't take the role of fortune teller. But the frustration comes when we EXPECT God to tell us the whole plan, thinking that's the best way. I realize now that the best way is actually to go one step at a time, why? Because in that process, I learn, I discover the joy of being surprised by God's hand moving in ways that I could never have anticipated! Also, it teaches me to continually rely on God and not myself. It reminds me not to foolishly think that 'I've got it all planned and this is how it'll go'.

Going back to what Jesus said, and what Graham Nash sang, 'Don't the wind blow cold when you're hanging your life on the line?' Do you even know if you'll make it to the end of the line? Some people live as if they'll live forever. They squander resources, talents and time. But some people live with perspective, knowing that time on earth is short, and that they should make full use of every opportunity.

Jesus used the word 'profit' in that quote of his. What PROFITS a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his own soul? I think he's talking about what we are INVESTING our lives in. If all people think of is money when they think of 'investing', then they've missed the point. How are we using our abilities and God-given talents and opportunities? What are we investing our TIME in? Are we giving away ourselves or are we hoarding more for ourselves?

I think the most important thing to invest our lives in, is PEOPLE. That's what Jesus did. And it makes sense. Don't spend all your life just making a living or chasing one success after another. All for yourself? I believe God placed each of us on earth to bless the next person we know. I find I am most happy and fulfilled when I forget myself for abit, and remember others. When you put the interests of others with greater needs than your own before yourself, it brings a sweet liberation from your own selfish, petty worries!

Think about it. What's your higher passion and calling in life apart from what you're pursuing now? Why are you studying the course you're studying, or why are you doing the job you're doing now? Just to earn money? Just to get a degree? And then what? If you seek your purpose and God's unique plan for you above all these temporary, earthly things we have to do at the moment, then you'll find that life takes on a new turn, and everyday bursts with greater meaning & zest for life!

~ j a n i e ll e

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