When people are asked, at the end of their lives, what they wish they had done differently, there is a clear theme. Invariably, people say they wished they had appreciated the little moments more. This is consistent both among those perceived to have accomplished a lot, and those who had led simpler lives. Those who have spent their lives worrying become bitter toward the end, while those who appreciated the journey end their lives with joy. Think about how you will feel on your own deathbed, and let it impact your attitude right now.
Place No Limits on Life’s Joy
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear… can any of you by worrying add a single day to your life?” (Matt. 6:25, 27)
These wise words, spoken by Jesus in his “Sermon on the Mount,” give a clear path to a joyful life.
Worry takes the place of enjoyment as a response to the experiences of life. It replaces excitement with stress. It replaces anticipation with apprehension. It replaces fond memory with regret. Worry gets in the way of stopping to cherish the delights of life’s path, instead only thinking about the goal.
Love Defines Life
Life itself is an expression of love. The most profound statement in the Bible is simply, “God is love.” But this message is hardly limited to Christianity, or theistic religion. Whatever God means to you—whether God means a creator, or the collective consciousness of humanity—it is an expression of love.
Remembering this makes it clear why worry is a waste of time. Jesus said, “Your father in heaven knows that you need these things,” (the basic necessities of life). He points to the sparrows in the field as an example of God’s goodness in providing for his creation. Your needs will surely be met as well. The love that surrounds us all is an abundant provider.
Worry is a limiting attitude, by presupposing that there will not be enough. This takes many forms beyond the basic necessities of life. Do you ever worry that you will not have enough success, enough happiness, even enough love? Your own attitude is the only thing that puts a cap on these graces. Love, however, is limitless. The more love that is expressed, the more love there is to go around. If you put a cap on love, by closing yourself into your own worries, you not only harm yourself… you also stop adding to the abundant love of the world.
This is the message I would leave you with: Trust the abundance of love!
God is love and the entire universe is a testament to his creative goodness. Similarly, all of humanity is a vessel of love that supports us day by day. So when you find yourself worrying about this or that, remember its relative unimportance. Don’t let yourself forget the joy of life’s journey, and the love that surrounds you.