Why Care: Finding Meaning in Life


Being presumptuous, according to my pastor, Pastor David Shoaf (and I agree with him), is having a rebellious and/or an “I-don’t-care” attitude about life and morals.  Many people who have been presumptuous about life or about grievous sins (moral wrongdoing) in my experience, have gone to either jail or have died! For instance, people in ISIS who bomb innocent people just going about their daily lives because they don’t agree with the precepts of their religion have at least a degree of presumptuousness.  They don’t care if their targets have families or what pain in their lives they carry. They just kill because their god told them to (supposedly).  Even though few people are as callous and as uncaring as ISIS suicide bombers or the most vicious murderers out there, we all (me included) need to be cautious of having a presumptuous attitude about life and about morals.  Here is why we should care–particularly about others and what kind of life we are leading. :

  1. Caring about others and the legacy we want to leave brings purpose and meaning to our lives.–Personally, before I became a Christian, I was very selfish and was searching for purpose and meaning in my life. Now, I don’t mean that people who don’t share my Christian faith are selfish and uncaring. On the contrary, I know a lot of people of various beliefs other than my own, who are extremely caring and selfless too. It’s just for me, that was my experience.  However, what I am saying is that if we don’t care about others and what legacy we are leaving, life will feel empty and meaningless.  When I got to that point, I felt like life was no longer worth living.  You can only live for just yourself for so long until you start to think about, “What am I doing? Why am I here with everyone else, when they are not benefiting me?” However, when you start to live for the benefit of others and you start to build a lasting legacy that you want others to follow, life starts to become more exciting because you have an end goal or goals in mind that you want to strive for regularly!
  2. Caring for others and leaving a good legacy changes the world.–One of my faith heroes, Rachel Joy Scott, changed millions of lives because she lived a life of caring for others, especially those who were friendless or otherwise in need. Over 1,000 people attended her funeral, and it was televised on CNN.  Some sources even say it was more attended than the funeral of Princess Diana!  Her father, Darrell Scott, also founded an organization called “Rachel’s Challenge,” which helps promote the lifestyle that Rachel led and discourage bullying.  This organization coupled with Rachel’s influence from her writings and the life she led have helped millions of people.  (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Scott) When you care for others from your heart, you can change the world for the positive. If you don’t quit caring and living for good, you will leave a good legacy for others to follow after your time on earth is up. I am striving to live to that end. Yes, I may fail (sometimes lots of times). However, when we fail, we have to just get back up and try again and persevere to the end.
  3. Caring for others and leaving a good legacy is ultimately joyful and rewarding.–Even if caring for others sometimes gets exhausting or people don’t appreciate you right away, to care for others ultimately brings you joy and has its rewards.  Seeing others joyful because they know someone (perhaps you!) cares about them ultimately should bring you joy as well.  That is its own reward! Not only that, but a few people may follow your example as well!  This will start a chain reaction of more people caring enough to change the world for the positive and not being apathetic about others or about life. People will start to respect us more because they know we can be counted on to care.

To care about others and about the legacy we are leaving for others to follow are very important because this is one of the major ways we derive meaning to our lives, changes the world, and is ultimately joyful and rewarding not only to the ones we care about but also to us as well.  Who needs your care today? Who can you show love to today?  What legacy do you want to leave? Please feel free to discuss in the comments.

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Carrying Rachel’s Torch

One of my faith heroes has always been Columbine student Rachel Joy Scott, who was murdered in 1999 by two of her classmates. Rachel is my faith hero because of her great belief in God and because she has all the positive qualities I would like to embody in myself. Also, I must note that she wasn’t perfect so I can relate to some of her experiences very well, especially when I fall down or sin.

After I watched the movie “I Am Not Ashamed,” which is based on Rachel Scott’s life, God has inspired me not only to try to live out Rachel’s five challenges but also to carry her torch.

What is carrying Rachel’s Torch?

For Rachel’s 5 challenges, click here, and then click on the box where it says, “Program Challenges.” Carrying Rachel’s torch, to me,  involves not only striving to live out her five challenges every day but also to live a life that properly honors her life and legacy.

How do we (I) carry Rachel’s torch? 

Carrying Rachel’s torch not only involves living out the five challenges in Rachel’s challenge but also making these promises to yourself and to the community around you:

  1. I will strive to make a positive difference in my world and to do this with all my heart. –I remember that Rachel Scott wrote in her journal, ” I will not be labeled as average,” and so I don’t want to be either.
  2. I will strive to think of others before myself.– While Rachel wanted her peers to love and like her, sometimes they didn’t and outright rejected her because of her bold faith in Christ.  Rachel believed that others needed to know about God’s love, and she was willing to risk her own reputation so that people could know and experience Christ’s love. While she certainly didn’t believe in forcing people to convert, she did believe in sharing how He has impacted her life and even that sometimes shocked people.  She also sometimes risked her safety and comfort to help others in need. Her fellow torch bearers also will strive to live in the same way.
  3. I will strive to intentionally love and offer my friendship and support to people who are hurting or otherwise in need.–Rachel always intentionally strove to offer her love and kindness to those in need or were hurting. She even approached a formerly homeless man and offered to help him through his tough time. She also reached out to her killers before they committed the massacre and offered friendship to them.
  4.  I will strive never to hate anyone who hurts me.—Rachel never ever hated anyone, except maybe the devil. If someone gets upset and angry at her, it hurts her too, but she never (as far as I know) exacted vengeance on them. Rachel’s torch bearers should strive to do the same, and make an impact, like her, with love instead of hate.
  5. If I fail at any of these above objectives, I will shake the dust off my feet, so to speak, and carry Rachel’s torch again. –I bet Rachel sometimes failed at meeting her own standards, but like Rachel, we should not give up! We should keep trying!

Why the torch metaphor?
In the Olympics, a torch bearer in a marathon was to carry another’s torch and then pass it to others in order to successfully complete the race. Similarly, we are all running in a similar, longer race. It is called the “Race of Life.” We all want to be successful and belong somewhere.  In this instance, I use the torch metaphor in order to describe how we all can carry on Rachel Scott’s legacy not only so her positive impact on this world and the community around her will not be forgotten but also how we can all work as a team to finish the Race of Life well and to continue what Rachel started.

Epilogue

Personally, carrying Rachel’s torch will be a struggle for me, but this is what gives me a purpose and reason to live. Of course, this purpose pales a bit to glorifying God and enjoying Him forever, which will always be my number one purpose in life.  What do you think of carrying Rachel’s torch? Are you ready? Please comment here.

sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Scott

https://rachelschallenge.org/

How I Plan to Implement Rachel’s 5 Challenges In My Life

Before I can talk about how I will implement Rachel’s 5 challenges in my life, I need to explain what the 5 challenges are and where they came. Rachel Joy Scott was a devout Christian believer who was murdered on April 20, 1999 in Columbine High School by two of her classmates mainly because of her faith, along with about a dozen other souls.  She inspires me because of her commitment to her beliefs and her devotion and desire to help hurting people know God’s love.  These 5 Challenges, called Rachel’s Challenge(s), are 5 tenets that characterized how Rachel lived according to those who knew her best—her family— and are inspiring people all over the world, including me, to live like Rachel did. I want to share how I personally want to implement these 5 challenges not because I want to brag or be all holy-moley or something, but because I want you the reader to hold me accountable and because I want to see more and more people know the magnitude of Christ’s love not only through me, but through other people as well.  I probably won’t be perfect at this (CORRECTION: I know I won’t be perfect at this, but I strive to do the best I can at living these 5 tenets every day for the rest of my life.)

These are the 5 Challenges and below each one is how I plan to implement them in my life:

1.) Look for the Best in Others

I plan to use one of my personal credos (from the last post I did) in order to help me live this tenet—Never throw out anyone.  I will strive to never give up on someone, unless my safety is in danger or the other person gives up on me.  I will always strive to help someone in need, and to look for the good in everyone, even those who sometimes (or oftentimes) give me a difficult time.  This may mean getting to know them better by asking them how they view life, how I can be praying for them,  and what I can do to relate to them better. I will strive to thank anyone that does anything good for me or for another person. I will let more people in my life know that they are appreciated and loved by me.

2.) Continue to Dream

I will strive to be the best I can every day, and think of new ways to glorify Christ in my work and at home.  I will try my best at everything even if it costs me, and even if at first I feel like giving up and giving in.  I will set goals for myself and reward myself when I accomplish them. I will live each day with a purposeful attitude.  I will continue to dream of better days when things get difficult and when things are good. I will continue to hope.

3.) Be a Positive Influence

I plan to strive to be a positive influence in others’ lives. I will continue praying everyday that I would show the light of Christ at home and at work and not be my selfish, sinful self. I will commit myself to show more  humility when I am corrected or when I do something sinful, and quickly repent of that sinful action or attitude.   I will try to be an encouragement to at least one person everyday, whether at home, work or elsewhere.  I will strive to work hard in everything I do, not doing anything with a half-hearted attitude. I will pray and work to be more like Christ everyday.

4. ) Speak and Act with Kindness

I will strive to be more conscious to make sure my words and actions are, in fact, kind.  I will continue to write encouraging notes to people at work when I see they need it.  I will share encouragement, whether it be song lyrics,  a kind word, or doing something tangibly kind for others, not to only feel good about myself, but to let them know about God’s love for them and that they are valued and loved by me. I will apologize if I speak or act in ways that are unkind and/or unChristlike, and strive to make amends to the person or the persons I offended.

5.) Start your own Chain Reaction

By doing these four other things, I hope to start a chain reaction, where others will be happy to follow my lead and create what I call, ” A Generation of Kindness,” where ultimately (maybe also in eternity) everyone around me will feel loved and valued not only by God and me, but by all those around them.  I will encourage others to “pay it forward” when I do something nice that they appreciate, so that others in their life that I may  not know will be able to experience the same blessing from them that I gave them.

 

source: http://rachelschallenge.org/programs/corporate