Live and give.
Sounds simple. Those are two things we all know we should do, and two things we would all totally do, if only we had the time and money.
We get glimpses of living.
Every now and then, we get a break from our everyday life; the routine that digs the rut deeper and deeper. We go on a vacation, or have a night out with friends that reminds us that there is more to life than "get up, go to work, haul around the kids, cook, clean, laundry, sleep, repeat."
Maybe you were standing in the woods, surrounded by mountains and streams. Maybe you were traveling through Europe, or standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon. Maybe it was a road trip with friends back in college, or exploring the museums of Washington DC. It could have been a weekend retreat that gave you a few days to focus on your relationship with God.
Whatever it was, for that time, you felt like you were living.
We'd all love to give more too.
Remember when you helped those people do that thing in that place and it made you feel like you were really doing something worthwhile? Or how about that time you helped those people out financially and it really helped them with that thing. You felt so useful in that moment.
Remember the look on their face when you gave without expecting anything in return?
Eventually, the vacation ended and the money ran out.
We look at our schedule and our bank account and wonder how we could ever get that back. So, we put our head down and continue to dig out the rut of our lives.
Somewhere along the way, we forget how good we felt when we were living and giving.
It's time to look up. It's time to start returning thanks.
When we start showing gratitude for the little things in life, we open the door to new adventures and new possibilities. When was the last time you spent time praying and just thanking God for everything in your life. No asking. No complaining. No arguing or begging. Just thanking.
An interesting thing happens when you start thanking God for things; you start thinking of more things you are thankful for. Before long, your mood has improved. Your perspective has changed.
As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!