“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”
Perhaps we need to ask ourselves a basic question: “Do we believe that God created us to be miserable?” The answer to that question certainly forms our mood and our opinion of the day. If we do not think God cares about whether or not we are miserable, we tend to live without much hope and do not see much promise to the day. If, on the other hand, we believe that God created us to be happy and fulfilled, we will look for the promise that each day can bring.
I realize that there is plenty of “proof” to make both sides of the argument. There is definitely a lot of bad in the world. There is a lot of grief. There is a lot of hatred. There is a lot of war and crimes against persons. We would not have enough time to document each and every instance. The naysayers would say that is proof that God does not care about us and that misery is our deserved portion of the day.
The reason that the world is filled with so much sorrow is because of original sin. The consequences of original sin were quite dire: mortality and corruptibility. We would suffer here on earth. We would experience pain and sorrow. Those are the results of sin. But, God gave us hope when He promised to send a Savior. We believe that Savior came to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is also a lot of good in our world. There are people who care about others. There are people who go out of their way to help others, even at the cost of their own lives. There is kindness and compassion, love and joy. There are many experiences in daily life that show the splendor of God and the invitation of God to deeper joy and holiness.
The attitude we adopt for ourselves will determine whether we look at the world with hope or with dread.
As Voltaire said, God gave us the gift of life. That gift was freely given to each and every one of us. We were created in God’s image and likeness. We are being called to live with God forever in heaven. That is great hope. And if that’s the case, there is no reason why we should not live well.
FAITH ACTION: Whatever you do today, live your life well so as to give thanks to God.