A decade ago, my husband and I worked in an independent living facility for seniors who didn’t care to live on their own. I met a lot of remarkable people during our short stint there, and I discovered some thought-provoking information.
Some of the residents wore a scowl on their face most of the time, griping and complaining about almost everything. They demanded the managers perform extra services other people didn’t receive, especially in the dining room. If they didn’t like an entree, they insisted the cook make something else especially for them. Frown lines etched their faces, and they appeared to be miserable. Very few smiles were evident.
Others residents seemed happy, always taking an interest in others. They thoughtfully sent cards on birthdays, gave a compliment, and smiled. I remember one couple who’d been married seventy five years who were still in love.
I realize people’s personalities vary, but I became curious about the obvious differences in attitudes. The married couple as well as others who appeared contented with their life circumstances, I soon discovered, were Christians. They were filled with peace and spoke of where they were going after leaving this earth. To spend eternity with their Lord and Savior. What an amazing difference!
I believe that many people derive their identity from their profession or accomplishments. But unfortunately that’s never enough. There will always be regrets about goals not achieved and missed opportunities along the way. If we have nothing else but our own triumphs, at the end of our lives, we have nothing. No wonder some of those residents scowled and were bitter.
Nothing in my life has brought me a sense of self-worth or pride. The only truth that sustains me is my relationship with the Lord. Jesus alone declares me significant and upright, and nothing in this world can accomplish that.
Oh, and in case you think I don’t have the right to say these things, I do because I’m fast approaching that age and know from experience.
Let’s not spend all our energy pursing goals but allow time to get to know the Savior, the only One who can give us purpose and declare at the end of our lives, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”