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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Measuring a Life

Life is not measured by how much you own, but by how much you owe. Jesus paid it all.

Adverts twist our thinking and distort our desires so that we imagine we need things which, when we do acquire them, we discover do nothing to enhance our lives. The more we have, the more we crave. 

The word used for ‘window-shopping’ by a South American indigenous people tribe is ‘lust’. We can be content with what we have until we see something which is an improvement on our technology, or looks newer, brighter, shinier, whatever. How do we live in this consumer-oriented culture where we all marinate in the underlying commercial matrix, without falling prey to the temptations? ‘We deserve it’, we are told, with regard to some magic potion which will enhance our skin or hair. ‘Treat yourself.’ 

Acquisitions and possessions end up possessing us. Those who own much, spend much time on figuring out their taxes, figuring out where the best interest is gained, figuring out the safest or most beneficial investments. Is that life?

A dear friend has just passed away. She shone with the light of Christ though she walked a very dark path of disease. In these last years, her quality of life was dictated by the rhythm of thrice-weekly hospital visits for dialysis and the day needed to recover following each trip. And yet, she lived a victorious life, a life of quiet trust in her Saviour and awareness that he was her close companion. She died in peace, slipping quietly into the arms of Jesus. 

I’ve no idea if she owned much of anything at all, but I do know that she possessed life in its fullness and that now, she is gazing on the face of her Saviour and Lord. If I were able to measure a life, I would certainly say that hers was a ‘life well-lived’. 

Patricia was an inspiration to all who knew her, and she will not be forgotten.

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