Wednesday, May 12, 2010

EASTER JOY: Serve to create increase for others

Each year one of our religion courses explores the topic of Christian joy. Our students discover that true happiness is a quality that we inject into our work. It is not something we derive from our work.

When we work only for ourselves, we begin looking for happiness outside of ourselves. Trying to achieve happiness that way doesn’t really work. But when we work for another’s benefit and turn off the "What's in it for me?" attitude, we begin to tap into the deep wells of happiness that are already inside us.

Happiness flows then outward from us and into the work we do, so we experience it as an outflow, not an inflow. Happiness is something you exhale, not something you just inhale.

Now this is what Jesus implies in The Parable of the Talents. Creating an abundance requires you to move outside of yourself. It requires you to move beyond fear. If you are too fearful or suspicious or distrustful, you are going to bury your talents. And this leads to “weeping and gnashing of teeth,” for example sorrow and depression.

You might think that fear and suspicion will keep you out of trouble, but really they’ll just cause you suffering and pain. You don’t need fear to avoid being a gullible idiot; for that you just need common sense. To live a life of abundance, you must ultimately move beyond fear and work to create abundance for others. Otherwise you’ll ultimately be cast out as worthless. Jesus doesn’t pull any punches here, youse bums.

Serve to create increase for others, and happiness is your reward. Bury your talents, and you get “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” The choice is yours.

Here's a good use of talent. Rob Surette was at one of our schools last Friday. He has been there a number of times, and each time he is mesmerizing. One thousand students are at the edge of their seats watching a man express his talents in a spiritual way.