i was struck by a quote this past weekend from harold kushner in his book living a life that matters. he writes, “our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it.”
our souls exist for significance and legacy. deep down, we all want to know that we have made a difference in somebody’s life. that we have mattered.
one of the key elements in living a life of simplicity is the realization that the accumulation of possessions is not the soul’s greatest desire. when we buy into the significance principle, we are free to remove ourselves from society’s measure of success (big house, nice cars, sweet tv) and begin using our money for the sake of touching someone else’s life. we can transition from living life for myself and instead, live it for others.
maybe then, our heart will be truly full, even if our cupboards aren’t.
Sacrificing doesn’t always fulfill me. After a while, I feel very oppressed always having to do without for the benefit of others. I’ve done without most of my life.
I do reward myself once in a great while.
btw…i’m just asking the question. not making a statement. :)
i think a huge part of living as a minimalist is being able to give more abundantly. personally, i’ve often wondered what God wants more: to give or to give sacrificially? what i mean is this…often a wealthy person gives very generously. this is because they have a lot. they are able to give out of excess. but is this what God wants from me? if you give out of excess, are you really learning how to give? i think you don’t really understand giving until you’ve learned to give out of sacrifice. i think that is where we begin to see more personal transformation.
there is a big difference between giving out of sacrifice and giving out of excess.