January 27, 2016: Getting the Most from Life

~by Louis Templeman

Genesis 3 : 8 – And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. . . the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden (ESV).

The only way to get the best out of life is to be deeply and sincerely grateful for it. And, the truly grateful are always generous. They do not become storage tanks for life’s riches – love, joy, adventure, peace, relationships, worship, healthy goals and honest work. Instead they become conduits and allow the riches of life which they enjoy to pass on through them. Indeed, they find themselves richer when they reach out and enrich others.

Adam and Eve lost the virtue of gratitude which was unfortunately replaced with the empty and dissatisfying liabilities of selfishness, greed and fear. They had a bird in the hand, so to speak, but they wanted the two in the bush. They let go of true riches and gambled on a dreary misguided scheme. It boiled down to a tragic loss of gratitude. The allurement of pleasure also tripped them up. They looked at what was forbidden them and found it a “delight to the eyes” (v. 6).

They left off gratitude for the beauty and joy abundantly provided, decided God was a miser and moved to enrich themselves by their own designs. This, as you may remember, led to their expulsion from paradise where they lost the riches God intended for them and faced a do-it-yourself life in a new world which would resist their pursuit of a happy and meaningful life.

We find this primordial couple in a pristine garden with a virtual rulership over all. And, to top it off, every day they enjoyed a walk with God “in the cool of the day”. Due to believing a seductive lie, that their God was being stingy and withholding even greater riches from them, this couple decided they knew better than their Creator.

Every generation of humanity faces the same challenge. We need a proper, even revelatory, understanding of what riches really are. A few of life’s underrated values which were tossed away in Eden were relationships, freedom from shame, contentment and an easy comfortable daily fellowship with God. This daily fellowship with God is the heart of this treasure. Gratitude will keep you aware of your wealth and generosities will make you richer.

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Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.

CLICK HERE to visit Louis’ Catholic Journeyman Archive

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