Lofty Ambition

5 Feb

“There is a loftier ambition than merely to stand high in the world. It is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher.”  ~ Henry Van Dyke

I have written many times about the competitive nature of the human condition citing the many ways that we try to be better than everyone else from a very early age.  We try to be the best in sports, in the arts, and in every activity in which we participate.  That is all very true.

However, we have another side as well.  Have you ever seen a child look at someone who is obviously sad?  Chances are extremely good that the child will go up to the other person, even if that other person is a complete stranger, and hug the person or try to say something to cheer the person up.  I have seen pictures of children who have seen life-sized versions of Jesus carrying the cross.  Many times, a child will go to the foot end of the cross and try to lift it up in order to help Jesus carry His burden.

While we are so very competitive in our human nature, our souls seem to inform us that there is something loftier than winning a prize.  Our souls inform us that it is inherently of greater value to help our brothers and sisters.

Look around.  You will find examples of people going out of their way to help others.  When you see them, don’t you often feel better about the world?  Don’t you feel like there is hope after all?  When you take the time to help someone else who appeared lost or frightened or in need, didn’t you feel better about yourself?

We might be driven by our human nature to excel in every way.  Our souls remind us that there is a greater value, though:  to help those who are in need.  Go for the loftier value today.  Lift up the needy.

FAITH ACTION:  In word and deed today, lift up those you encounter so that they know how special they are in the eyes of God.