My Thoughts on the Quote of the Day

He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
--Jim Elliott

Jim Elliott was a missionary to tribal peoples in South America. He paid the ultimate price, as he was killed by the very people he went to serve. He knew that his life would be at risk to spend as he served and ministered to people who'd never heard the Message that was so widely heard and even taken for granted in many other lands.

The above quote exemplifies his life. A life that considered what the New Testament of the Bible says are the two greatest commandments: loving God and loving people more than we love ourselves.

I chose it today because while it is important that we debate the issues, whether it's terrorism or the "miracle plane crash" or immigration or Judge Roberts and judicial activism, we need to continually remind ourselves of the bigger picture. We've heard the popular motto, "God, family and country," for example. Find your motto and when you get caught up in the small stuff, take a moment to focus on the big stuff.

One of my other favorite quotes is "The glory of God is man fully alive." (I realize there may be a few reading this who do not believe in God. Please take from this what you will. This is not meant to be a debate about the existence of God.) I have a member of my family who has been very sick for a very long time. Talking to him and seeing him has the effect of the mirror to my own life. Life is too short. I don't want to have achieved everything on my career/professional/activities checklist and miss the most important investments I've been called to. I also don't want to be foolish in giving more credit to being a workaholic and "getting the job done" than in trusting God and other people when I need to lean on them.

I pray that--both in giving and receiving--we would life to its absolute fullest.


At 8/05/2005 02:48:00 PM, Anonymous Clayton Bell said...

My first post in a while, and it's the first! Hooray!

Wow, that was weird...but I guess no stranger that having a internal conversation with yourself on someone else's blog...moving right along...

There were alot of great ideas in that post by Lores, and I think it speaks to the general apathy in today's working class. You might think that would be a more appropriate label for "today's kids", but studies (and any trip to a local college campus) show that the Millenials (those who were born starting in either 1980 or 1984) are a very socially conscious and participatory generation. My generation, X, is the disillusioned one, the complaining one, the unfocused one, the one without dreams of greatness.

I think we all need a daily shot of optimisim, of hope, of challenge, of greatness that these quotes speak to. How big do you dream today? You don't have to be a minister to dream, and you don't have to be a Christian to dream (but if you are your dreams should be bigger), but you should dream. You should have life, have love, have passion. And as a Christian, I believe that if you truly sought after those things you'd find they are best facilitated in a God who wants to do more for you "than you can ask or imagine." Dreams require sacrifice, greatness requires seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but when a dream of greatness, when a passion engulfs you, that sacrifice becomes, as the Apostle Peter speaks about in his first letter, just a "light and momentary trouble."

This post probably has very little to do with that Lores was talking about, these are just the things kicking around in my head and I happened to click on this blog before my own. Please return to your regularly schedule discussion...

At 8/05/2005 07:07:00 PM, Blogger shelbymiddleton said...

Oh how I love the commentaries of Lores and Clayton. Blogs were invented for these types of people, and by "these types" I mean, minds so large, only the internet can attempt to appease them, or amalgamate them into something the rest of us can see as a cohesive whole.
Anyway, Lores, it is always nice to be reminded to see the bigger picture. I have been temping at a law firm this week as a receptionist...a job that is surprisingly stressful. All these people see are details. As the receptionist, I have a clear view of the big picture because I intercept the problem first...the moment that phone rings and I hear the sad stories of the clientel. It can be frustrating for others to not see the bigger picture when their ocupation actually defines the bigger picture--to help better people's lives.
Unfortunately, that's the way New York operates. Tunel driven corporate busyness that not only drains life from your very core, but replaces it with striving. Striving in every sense of the word. A striving that, I believe, can only be put to rest in the God who fights for me.
And so that is the challenge here. It's not enough to keep my head above water and not drown in the details, but to call others up to that bigger picture. To bring life to lifeless space and tall buildings. There is hope for life.

At 8/08/2005 01:41:00 AM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

Good to see you back here again, Clayton! Good point.

I believe everyone is made for greatness because everyone has potential to impact one other life. As long as that is the case, greatness is within everyone's reach.

At 8/08/2005 01:43:00 AM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

shelby, welcome! so good to have you join us! And, thanks for sharing your experience. I know many of us can relate to that, regardless of where we live and what we do. We'd love for you to continue to bring your NYC girl perspective here :)


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