Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The "how" and "what" of life.

What we live our lives for rather than how we lived must have supreme importance. Yes, this statement needs explanation.
Many times the natural tendency is to focus on the standard of our lives than the very purpose for which we live. We worry too much about our dress, food and dwellings. That explains why we buy expensive clothes, like to dine in the best restaurants and keep modifying our houses and buy more gadgets. Dressing in a manner suitable for the job is sometimes forced on us by our employers. We don't think about the effect of food on our performance when we eat, we eat for pleasure mostly.
The goal of life is not the standard of life itself. Quality of life should not be confused with the standard of life. They are diffferent. Quality of life is not decided by the standard of life. However, standard of life should serve the pupose and enhance the quality of life.
I heard this story about Mother Teresa years ago. I am not able to verify the historical facts but even if it is a parable someone made up it has a point. Pope presented Mother Teresa with an expensive car on his visit to Kolkotta. Mother Teresa just waited for the Pope to leave India to auction it out. She never entered that car but used the proceeds from the auction to support her seervice to the poor.
Now, what if she used the car for her work? She could have moved around the slums of Kolkotta in her luxury car. She didn't buy it, he did not covet, it was just a present from a well intentioned person who is wiser than her.
However, life with that car would be a great contradiction for Mother Teresa. It would contradict with the message of simplicity and love that she symbolised. That car would create a gap of light years' length between her and the people who she loved. Her life-style and service will be out of sync with each other. In other words, the standard of her life with that car will destroy the very purpose for which she lived.
So, it comes as a challenge to us to prioritize--how we live and what live for. What we live for must not only have top priority but our lifestyle should be subordinate to it.

Life and Light

'For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light' Psalm 36:9.   When David sang to God, 'For with you ...