Don’t speak in absolute terms, consider relativity
Whenever my two children make a statement of definiteness like “Dad, this is the best day!”. I would say –
“That’s great, but best day … compared to or relative to what? Is it better to yesterday or last week’s or five years ago on your birthday?”
As Einstein said, every matter is inter-connected to all other matter and one cannot speak of time without considering space and vice versa. So, in effect, to speak completely about space/subject/matter, you should always include the concept of time. To do this, you have to compare it or make the subject ‘relative’ to something else/subject/event.
We’re all seeking success in life or at least our perception of what ‘success’ is. Both the Christian and Non-Christians desire success but like most things in life, success for these two groups should not be compared in absolute terms but one should consider relativity.
Success, relative to the goals.
Be not better than, but, instead – different from
The difference is in world-view or perspective.
One world-view sees only the here and now, the other sees the un-seen, the ‘make-believe’, the imagination come alive. What one’s world-view or perspective is (or to put it another way, what one believes) has a huge effect on one’s attitude and therefore, actions one takes.
Individually, God has called us to be: salt and light (see Matthew 5:13-16), servants (see Mark 10:45) and stewards (see Matthew 25:14-30).
The idea of being salt and light tells us that God wants me to be not better than, but, instead – different from.
So, the Christian may or may not have more than his neighbour, but that does not distinguish him or set him apart and be ‘different from’. In my eyes, what makes him or her – the Christian, different from the world is the absence of anxiety.
The Best Pirates Treasures
The strong Christian, I believe, does not have uncontrolled anxiety that may have resulted from the loss of some material possession or not receiving something that God may have denied.
No, the Christian’s UN-anxious mind-set gives him wings.
Wings to fly when others fill heavy and weighed down with soaring expectations and desires of unbridled, insatiable success.
You see, the Christian’s treasures are not of this earth. If the Christian were a Pirate, sailing the seas of life scouring for treasures, it would be the treasures that is in undiscovered lands that are most appealing. It is treasures that are ‘too good to be true’, treasures that are only in dreams in Fairy-lands that bring unrelenting enthusiasm.
For a Christian, his or treasures is not of this earth. The world and its temporal toys do not brain-wash him. I would advise against indulging every whim and craving, for happiness is not achieved by conspicuous consumption but by keeping desires to a minimum. As the philosopher Epicurus said –
“A man is wealthy in proportion to the things he can do without.”
As I see it, the Christian prays for all but is least anxious about the tremendous uncertainty facing national and the world economy.
Like a Pirate, for a Christian, the Best Pirate’s Treasures are waiting for him in heaven.
To own nothing is the beginning of happiness
Obviously, that Christian attitude is not ‘normal’ and could possibly fall under the ever growing definition of ‘insanity’ in today’s society. But, then again, years ago, people with epilepsy were thought to be possessed by evil spirits and needed to be burned out of them.
This attitude may not be ‘normal’ in non-Christian’s eyes and that is ok because I’d like to think of it as being not being better than, but different from. This attitude of state of mind sprouts from having a different world-view and perspective on life.
The Christian’s perspective is eternal. It is held in the hope of treasures in a far-away land … a far-away land we call Heaven. What All great Pirate and Viking dreams are made of, a place that the Viking’s call “Valhalla”.
The pursuit of that kind of happiness is like a dog chasing it’s tail or trying to catch a butterfly. You cannot slip into the same dress twice because the trend of the moment has already flowed on. As the great mad, bad and dangerous Philosopher, Diogenes says –
“To own nothing is the beginning of happiness”
This different perspective on life allows the Christian to be free from worry and anxiety.
An attitude of gratitude is key to living a significant life
The material possessions of this world does not consume the Christian for the real treasures are in eternity. Maybe, this is a big part of finding happiness – so many in today’s modern societies work 60-to-80 hour working-weeks just so they can afford the latest fashion or tick off their never-ending “bucket lists”.
An attitude of gratitude is the way of a strong Christian as he or she understands that it a key to living a significant life, filled with richness beyond just the narrow-focus of material possessions and money.
I have always believed, one of the best ways to show gratitude every single day is to make what I refer a ‘Reverse Bucket List” and remind yourself by giving thanks to God for all the things, people, places and activities that you have experienced so far that make up the greatest gift given to you – your Life.
So, whether you’re a Christian or not, I think we can all benefit by creating our own individual Reverse Bucket Lists and run through them off and tick them off your list, in doing so (giving Gratitude to God , if you’re a Christian) and simply, re-living that pocket of happiness that you experienced (if you’re a non-Christian).
I’m sure the Reverse Bucket List will appeal to both the Christian and Non-Christian. No one is better … we are just different. I strongly believe, Making your Reverse Bucket List is a key to your happiness. It is one of the reasons Fijians are the most happiest people on this planet. They give thanks for everything in their life, every single day.
A good habit to learn. A good habit to have. It may just build more life in to your years. Try it, see for yourself.
Your choice, your life.
All the very best in your choice,
Cheers & Ahoy!
The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk … & treasures to feed all great Vikings and Pirates