How Do You Gain a Rich and Meaningful Life?

Spill The Beans


Dear Jennifer,

How does someone make a life?  This sounds like an odd question considering that “everyone is sooo busy.”  Everyone but me.  I lost my life because of various factors.  I live in a small community and have been out of the workforce for eight years.  I don’t know how to get going again.


Jennifer’s Answer:


I’m so sorry you’re in such a tough place…but, I am not certain of your real question.  If it’s a job you want so you will feel like you have a life again, that’s a question better answered by a career counselor, and I pray God’s favor upon you and your quest .

But to me, the deeper concept is this–being busy or having a job is not the same as having a life or truly living.  Don’t sell yourself short, Trudi.  Just because you’re not busy right now, doesn’t mean you’re disqualified from living.  In fact, you may be in a uniquely blessed place to have the time to “make a life” as you said.

To me, it seems the way to make a life is the way you make a cake…one ingredient at a time!  Whatever life, like whatever cake, you want to make starts by beginning with the end in mind.  If you want a sweet fluffy cake, you begin with egg whites and sugar.  If you wish to gain a rich and meaningful life, you begin with brokenness and abandonment.

Jesus compared really living to a seed dying: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone.  But if it dies, it bears much fruit. ” (John 12:24)  Jesus’ words tell us it is really possible that real life is found in brokenness and self-abandonment.  “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it.  But whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his own soul?” (Matt 16:25,26)

A real life is not characterized by your job.  Real life is not measured by a jammed calendar.  It’s determined by a Velveteen Rabbit standard.  You know you’ve “made a life” and you’re living a “real” life when it’s well squandered…given away to God and others.

So, my friend, perhaps focusing on what you have to give rather than what you’ve lost can be the first ingredient to making a rich life worth living.

Your friend, Jennifer

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