I was playing a game today. It has Zen in the title, so I guess this is a Zen quote.
It says, ‘There is no greater goal than being content with yourself.’
That’s an interesting quote. The thing about pithy and interesting quotes is that we hear them, absorb them and assume they are true.
But think about it for a moment. Why should you accept that statement as true?
1st it is giving us ‘The greatest goal in life.’ So ask yourself, what is the greatest goal in life? Is it really contentment with yourself?
Content = A state of peaceful happiness. In this case, with yourself.
That sounds pretty good doesn’t it and you might well be saying, ‘yes, I agree with that.’ Why not, after all. We are the most important thing in the world aren’t we? So our own state of peace and happiness, should be the first consideration, shouldn’t it?
Fly in the ointment time.
What if we are parents and have a child. Where do they fit? Is their, ‘state of peaceful happiness’ as important as mine? Less important? Equal?
What if we really love another person (partner, lover, friend). Where do they fit? Is their, ‘state of peaceful happiness’ as important as mine? Less important? Equal?
Rubber hitting the road. Choice time, you are in a situation where you are both in danger and you can save yourself or your child/loved one. Who do you save? It’s obvious isn’t it? If that statement I started with was correct. Then we come first. Our happiness and peace is first priority. But that is not what happens, is it? We don’t put our self first.
When we love someone, they come first.
Here is something even more crazy. There are those who love people selflessly. People who are not family. People who do not love them back. Not their partners, but those in need. They love the unlovable. Are they crazy? They are most definitely not living according to that opening statement.
Here is something even more crazy. God is like that. He loves the unlovable, us; you and me. Yeah, I know, you are probably thinking, that you are really adorable. But, you are not perfect; sorry to break that to you. God loves you anyway. Imperfections and all.
God became human. Became a man actually, Jesus, he lived on earth and he did not live by that opening statement either.
Jesus made this statement and I commend it:
There is no greater goal in life, than to: ‘love God and love your neighbour as yourself.’ If you are wondering if your neighbour is just the person who lives next door. Jesus answered that. It is anyone in need.
Want to know more? Find a local Alpha course www.alpha.org
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