Weekly Thought – May 8, 2018
Fred thought and spoke much about life with meaning. His executive friends often cluttered their world with work to the point of shutting out everything else. His thoughts to a Dallas group in 1981 are still relevant and helpful.
What Does It Mean?
Recently I met an old and prosperous friend who wanted to relive earlier times. Once an active layman, he has become stagnant. I asked him if he remembered the scripture verse “when it is day I long for the night and when it is night I long for the day.” He became quiet and then barely audibly said, “Fred, that’s me.” Like too many, when given the choice of filling the soul or the pocketbook – he grabbed the cash. His poor soul has been on a starvation diet. He needs some nourishment.
In East Texas when I first saw the large beetles on the pine trees, I thought they were alive. They looked completely natural. But when I looked more closely, they were hollow. Often I have to remember how possible it is to become hollow even while looking alive. The inside seems to go before the outside.
It isn’t easy to keep the inside renewed. Sometimes life seems to be a lot of activity and very little being. We use up the inside in maintaining the outside.
I truly wish I could help the many bored, frantic, angry, even violent, and meaningless people who cross my way… people who need to laugh, and love unselfishly… those who need relief from a social life that becomes rote and empty. Executives whose business life is their only life come into my office expressing their lack of preparation for life after career. I see so many who live with family lives which are fractured and scratchy – the home is only a transfer station where dirty laundry is deposited and bills are paid. These are the hollow ones who are overly concerned with the opinions of others. Some have let their bodies become little more than clothes racks or display mannequins – totally empty on the inside.
We need to help each other through the process of constant internal renewal of spirit. We need to assist each other be those worthy of respect, attention, and affection – whose insides and outsides both have substance.
Malcolm Muggeridge defines life as a mystery to be illuminated not a problem to be solved. When the true awe goes out, life becomes boring and repetitive. Too often I see prominent men and women who have substituted acquisition and entertainment for genuine awe. As a poor kid in the slums of Tennessee, I spent hours on my back leaning against the curb, looking up at the stars. Not many experiences rival those times. The awe of the universe stretched me.
This week think about: 1) How am I doing – am I getting hollow or whole? 2) Where do I find meaning for my life? 3) What one thing can I do this week to improve my family life?
Words of Wisdom: “Sometimes life seems to be a lot of activity and very little being. We use up the inside in maintaining the outside.”
Wisdom from the Word: “For wisdom provides protection, just as money provides protection. But the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its owner.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12 NET Bible)