If we are lucky, we can hope we get a minute right before we draw our last breath to reflect on this time spent in our human body, a time to ask, “was it worth the trip?” And how, exactly, at that moment will we know? It’s taken me a little longer than most to figure this one out, but I think it will come down to this, “Who did I serve? Was I there when the people I loved needed me? Did they know I loved them?”
The rest is garnish. Pretty, perhaps, but inconsequential.
I wrote a book called, “When Do I Get to Be Me?” suggesting that we would all have richer lives if we discover our creative side, and we will. Another way to find me, however, is to lose me. When you have asked yourself this in the morning, “Who can I help today?” you have found yourself. Ever notice how things seem to turn up when you quit looking for them?
For all the self help training and platitudes about loving yourself, there is nothing like laying in bed at night knowing that you were there when someone needed you. For all the religious complexities and rules about sin, salvation and the nature of God, you find God when you live in service. It is all pretty easy while it is amazingly difficult, heaven is here when we serve.
Moms have always known this. Soldiers diving on grenades to save their platoons figure it out in their last instant. Our world is filled with saints like this, people who heal, who feed, who teach, who inspire and who preach. There is no peace for those who go to sleep counting their conquests or money, they only dream of the next battle. Loving and caring for someone is a reward unto itself.
The french novel, Les Miserables, is an examination of one man’s life of service and love and it climaxes when our hero, Jean Valjean, draws his last breath and says, “D’aimer un autre personne, est de voir la face de Dieu.”
To love another person is to see the face of God.
May you see the face of God today.