by Lauren Bratten
When I was in high school, I took a World Religions class. Growing up in a Christian home, I was interested to learn about other religions from the unbiased viewpoint my public high school could provide. For our final project, we had to pick one major world religion and do an in-depth study of it.
I did my project on Hinduism, and my friend’s mom, Dharni, graciously agreed to let me interview her. I honestly don’t remember much of the interview, but her answer to one of my questions has stood out to me to this day. Since Hindus believe in reincarnation, I asked Dharni what she was doing in this life to guarantee she was reincarnated into a “better” life next time.
Her response shocked me. I think she was a little embarrassed to admit she does very little to try to make sure she is reincarnated in a better position. Dharni explained how life is busy. She needed to focus on her job and her family, and that her next life didn’t preoccupy much of her thoughts. As a high school student with a limited world view and a very traditionally Christian background, I didn’t understand how someone could subscribe to a faith, but then not care about one of its main doctrines. How could anything in her life be more important than making sure she didn’t end up in a bad position in her next life?
One of the most amazing aspects of our Christian faith is we don’t have to worry about our “next life” or where we will spend eternity. We know we will go to heaven if we believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins and follow him with our lives. But now I identify with Dharni’s struggle to prioritize her faith while balancing family, work, money, and other distractions of life. While we don’t need to worry about doing enough good deeds to get to heaven, God doesn’t want us to put our faith on the shelf while we go about our lives.
Take a few moments and think about how you can make today center around God instead of squeezing him in. Love your family with the love that God gives you. Work with the mindset that what you are doing is service to the Lord. When you go to the store, focus on smiling at a person who needs a smile, not just on crossing off every item on your list. We have a faith that has the ability to radically transform a person, not just be a part of our culture or personal history. Let’s live in a way that demonstrates it!
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” –Colossians 3:23
Lord, help me center myself on you today. And let my life reflect that you’re at the center!
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