Weekly Thought – September 24, 2013
Fred said “Be A Blessing” would be the family motto if there were one. He believed self-focus was a dead end. His counsel to others was always, “get excited about something bigger than yourself.”
Gratitude for faithful friends who support Fred’s ongoing ministry and the development of expanded outreach is deeply felt by the board of BWF Project. Your encouraging words energize us. Your financial support allows us to continue. Thank you for standing with us.
The essence of joy is the willingness to give oneself into forgetfulness. Trying to “forget yourself” is nearly impossible, but developing the disciplined habit of giving ourselves to a cause or person allows us the privilege of determined forgetfulness. John Wannamaker said, “The most important lesson I have learned is that I have the least trouble with myself when I’m giving myself to a worthwhile cause.”
One evening I was sitting in the lobby of the old Gibson Hotel in Cincinnati. Two writers were sitting within earshot and I thoroughly enjoyed their conversation. The younger asked, “If you had your life to live over, what would you do with yourself?” Without hesitation, the other replied, “I’d find something big enough to give myself to.”
One of the truly heartwarming stories I’ve heard is about an Amish girl who received a small box of candy for Christmas. Her mother, teaching her unselfishness, suggested she keep the candy unopened until her friends came to visit. After several weeks her friends came, and she excitedly passed the candy around, each taking a piece. She closed the box and set it on the table without taking a piece herself. When her Mother asked her if she would like a piece, she blushed and replied, “Oh, I forgot I was here.”
Many people are literally sick of themselves. They become self-centered hypochondriacs, thinking only of what concerns themselves. This incessant navel-gazing turns into the disease of self-absorption. Joy is replaced by exhaustion as constant emphasis on “myself, and what others think of me” totally enervates.
Unable to change their internal conversation, they go around and around talking to themselves about themselves. Dizzying circles! Until they realize they are devoid of joy and until they want to exchange self-love for joy, they obsess.
“When did you feel the greatest joy in your life?” was the question before the group. One member known for his acquisitive nature began a story from his childhood. He had been saving money for a bicycle he dearly wanted. At church one night a missionary told of his needs and in childlike abandon, he went home, retrieved his savings jar, and gave it all to the missionary. He became so emotional as he told the story, he couldn’t finish. Knowing this man to have a great lack of joy, we all silently wished, “Do it again!”
Joy comes in the giving of yourself until you develop the habit of “giving into forgetfulness.”
This week think about: 1) What gives me joy? 2) How can I give myself away to others? 3) Who models giving into forgetfulness for me?
Words of Wisdom: “The essence of joy is the willingness to give oneself into forgetfulness.”
Wisdom from the Word: “So here is my opinion on this matter: It is to your advantage, since you made a good start last year both in your giving and your desire to give.” (2 Corinthians 8:10 NET Bible)