Have you ever felt like a confused traveler on this road of life? It’s sort of like being at a crossroad and having no idea where each one leads. You ask yourself questions like:
“What do I choose left or right?”
“Am I prepared for what lies ahead?”
“Should I just turn around and go back down the road I have already traveled because familiarity is easier to handle than uncertainty?”
Many of the sacrifices we choose to make in our respective worlds can be likened to the decision we must settle on when faced with which road to venture down. The individuals and circumstances for which we make these sacrifices are as varied as the diverse culture we are a part of. Because of that, believe it or not, at times we can actually lose sight of the actual purpose of our sacrifices. When we find ourselves sacrificing so much so often it is easy to fall into a ritualistic pattern which is all too common for us since our tendency is to be creatures of habit. Before you know it, you’re that confused traveler at the fork of the road asking those legitimate questions while foregoing the main reason why you should be seeking out the answers in the first place.
What is that reason you ask? Let’s change the questions just slightly for our traveler and ask:
“Why should I choose the left or right?”
“Why am I prepared for what lies ahead?”
“Why should I consider turning back when I know that which lies ahead has the greater potential than that which will be left behind?”
It was pinpointed at the onset of this brief reflection that we often give an awful lot of ourselves to various entities within our world. However, we need to be ever so careful not to fall into a trap of sacrificing simply for the sake of sacrificing and nothing more. Quite frankly, to sacrifice without the expectation of benefiting from that sacrifice can prove to be detrimental to our very being. Although there is indeed more joy in giving than there is in receiving, that doesn’t mean we don’t want or even NEED to receive. In fact, the very statement “there is more joy in giving than there is in receiving” still implies that at least some joy definitely exists in receiving doesn’t it?
By the way, did you notice with the second set of questions the inquisitor isn’t referred to as the “confused traveler” but rather just a “traveler”? When we know and understand what the sacrifice is for it significantly lessens the confusion. Asking why requires a certain justification for our actions. If we can’t answer the ‘why’ during the inquisitional process then it is less likely we’ll be willing to go forward with an appropriate sacrificial effort.
Knowing the ‘why’ identifies the benefit.
Knowing the benefit provides us with the meaning.
Now here is a concluding twist for you my inquisitive traveler. When you are able to attach meaning to the decisions you make in life, categorically your actions are no longer really a sacrifice. But rather they become the means to an end.
The greater the meaning – the greater the sacrifice …
The greater the sacrifice – the greater the meaning!