Financial crisis: dare to liveΒΆ

Tags: faith

This is the first time I'm posting an actual sermon here on my weblog. Last sunday's sermon (in Nieuwegein by Smelik) was full of sane reflection and practical advice, also quite readable I guess for the non-christians in the audience :-) Those with a bible might want to take a quick peek at Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 (Dutch: Spreuken 11:1-6). Any numbers below point to those verses.

Ecclesiastes, according to wikipedia emphatically proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently "vain", "futile", "empty", "meaningless", "temporary", "transitory", or "fleeting," depending on translation. There's so much in peoples' lives that suddenly pops after putting in a lot of effort. And to top it off: at the end you die, so how much use is there in your effort? Perhaps surprisingly, the second conclusion is "so make sure you enjoy yourself and enjoy life". Dare to live!

  • (1) "Throw your bread in the water". Bread in this case means your living. Dare to invest. Invest money that you cannot really miss. Invest precious time in your children. You actually don't know if you get a return on your investment. Stocks can plummet; children can go off on bad ways.
  • (2) "Divide it in 7 or 8". Spead your risk. In ye olde times you could store your grain in more than one granery. Store it in 7 or even 8 different ones: if one burns down, you still have the rest. Nowadays you could put your savings into separate accounts on different banks. There is a lot you cannot forsee or predict. Also there's absolutely no certainty that the good will do well and the bad will do bad. Ecclesiastes sees those facts.
  • (3/4) Life is unpredictable. But don't let that stop you from living your life. And don't let that stop you from taking on tasks or starting new initiatives.
  • (5) "You don't know tomorrow's weather or how a baby grows". Well, actually, we do know a lot about tomorrow's weather and about how babies grow in a mother's womb. But there's still a lot of detail and essence that we miss. And God also is an unknown factor (in case you factor Him in).
  • (6) Well, actually, a lot of it is none of our business. Or none of our concern. So work! Do something. And don't restrict the doing and the working to those cases where you're sure of the outcome. Make a bold move and do something even if you're unsure of the outcome. Dare to live!

Jesus gave his life for people. That's quite the ultimate investment in others! Christians believe that even that deadly investment payed off: He got his investement money (=His life) back after three days and a Huge Whopping Interest on top of it: enough to pay for everyone's sins (on the provision that you accept that payment).

There's a saying in the bible that "those who wish to retain their life shall lose it and those that give it away shall keep it". Dare to live. Take some risk. "Know that your efforts are not in vain".

(Old imported comments)
"Amen!" by http://rickyspears.myopenid.com/ on 2008-10-16 03:49:20
Reinout - I wish I had something more clever to say about this post than, "Amen, brother!" You said quite a lot and I strongly agree with every word of it. Thanks for sharing!
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About me

My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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