What have you done lately?
No, I'm not talking about getting the latest technotoy or buying a new car. Nothing like that.
What have you done lately that matters? What have you done that changes the world, helps others, and lives on after you?
One of the saddest things I ever read was from the Greek philosopher Aristotle: "The masses choose the lives of grazing animals." Utter insignificance. Profoundly disheartening, and the most depressing part: "choose." People choose insignificance.
So what have you done that isn't centered on yourself? That makes a difference in another life? That makes the world better? Anything significant?
What have you done that isn't the choice of a grazing animal, a sheep?
Are you pleased with the legacy you will leave? Are you happy with what someone will write about you after you are gone? "He had fun" isn't so great, you know.
Does the thought of standing to give an account before God scare you?
God has called us to himself, to be his, to represent him in the world. It's an honor high beyond our imagining. He has called us -- his own -- to be an essential part of redeeming the world that is his and was stolen away.
But we'd rather play games. Little kids' games. And we pretend they're real life.
We live in a little, fake, cartoony world, a world of our own devising. And we try to convince ourselves that, man, this is really living! We've got a good thing going!
But it isn't. And we don't. And deep inside, we know it. Deep inside, we know that there has to be more. Our pain and our tears have to mean something.
We want to be more than sheep. It just can't be we live, we die, and nobody cares.
So what are you doing that matters?
Thousands of children die of starvation every day. Every day, while the western world becomes a place of obese, self-indulgent brats. What are you doing about it?
Millions of people live on the edge of disaster, one failed harvest away from starvation. Millions more have no clean water to drink. How would you do, drinking water from polluted rivers, lakes and ponds? They don't do well, either. They get sick. They die young.
What are you doing about it? They are people just like you, you know. They are your brothers and sisters.
If you were born anywhere on earth as a "person of color," your chance for quality education and a quality life are far less. Even in America. No fault of your own. Just because of where you were born. Or the color of your skin. You could look forward to bad schools if you had schools at all, and a bigger chance of dying young than going to college. This is simply wrong, and our hearts should break from it.
What are you doing about it?
These are huge problems of injustice. But many of them are solvable. I can't solve them and you can't, either. But we certainly can. And if they are solvable, we have a moral responsibility to do something about them. But we can't do it living selfish lives.
So what are we going to do? Nothing?
One day, we will all stand before God. "Give an account." For some of us, that will be a very bad day.
According to the Bible, we were created to do good works. Works God planned for us in advance.
What are we going to do about it?
Tutor school children • volunteer in a literacy program • volunteer at a hospital • volunteer at a nursing home • volunteer to work with AIDS patients • repair houses for those who are unable • deliver meals to elderly shut-ins • adopt orphans via Compassion International and similar organizations • volunteer at a school as a teacher's assistant • mentor a child • give money to organizations that are making a difference in solving social problems • volunteer at a homeless shelter • join an organization assisting refugees • help buy medical supplies for disadvantaged people • stop living as if the world revolved around you and your whims • invest your life in something bigger than you.