This past weekend I spent a few days helping my parents pack up their belongings for their move from Washington D.C. to Knoxville, Tennessee. It’s a big move for them. They are in their 80’s and this is a huge undertaking. I understand their hesitation and their feeling of being over-whelmed. It is hard to start over at this point in their life.
As I was helping them pack up the memories of 60 years together, I noticed that certain things that they had acquired over the years were so quickly discarded to the side… to be donated to charity or thrown out altogether. Yet there were some things that they were holding on to. Some of these things I clearly could see the value in keeping and other things that I did not see why in the world they would want to keep. They saw value where I did not. What I deemed as insignificant, they held in high regard.
It wasn’t my place to question what they placed value on.
As I have grown older, I have come to realize that some of the things I placed a high value on is less and less satisfying to me. After more than 50 years on this little planet, I am aware that to pursue some of my old wants and desires, to please my appetites is shallow, hollow and un-fulfilling.
My values have changed.
In this world I live in, I have discovered that at the core of many around me is self-gratification, satisfying self, and getting every pleasure they can before leaving this earth. I have discovered that those desires and goals are empty. As Paul writes to the Corinthians he writes these words that captivate me with their simplicity – whatever my circumstance my ambition should be to please Him, to please God. In that ambition, in that quest, we find endless possibilities, endless joy as we pursue what pleases the one who made us.
I’m discovering that this ambition, this quest to please God is fulfilling because it’s what we were made for, it’s how we were designed. God built us to find our greatest joy in bringing him joy. Imagine that. And yet, in the world around me I see people busy with ambition to satisfy themselves and they are utterly miserable, unfulfilled, unhappy….because self-gratification is endlessly empty.
Therefore, our values and our ambition should be to please Him. Pleasing the one who made us because in that quest we find our greatest joy.
At the core, it’s what we were made to do.