There’s nothing like Florida mornings. They teem with life. Every morning when I ride my bike on our local trail I get to observe the beautiful sunrise. I see the mist rising off of the open fields. And I get to ride through lush green woods filled with banyan trees, palms, and deep green vegetation. It’s the time of day when the wildlife is waking up. I see hawks, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, egrets, osprey, and even an occasional alligator.
What strikes me every morning is that all the birds and animals are waking up simply to survive another day. They are searching for food. They are hiding from predators. They are both eating and trying not be be eaten. Every day for an animal is simply a matter of survival. I’m not sure how much enjoyment there really is. It’s all survival of the fittest.
It reminds me that for us human beings life is so much more than simply trying to survive. We live at a time when food is readily available. Our homes and vehicles are climate controlled. We don’t usually have to fight for our lives. Life is relatively easy in the twenty-first century. I get to step out of my garage, put on my helmet, and ride through a gloriously green suburban trail.
Since we don’t have to put all of our energy into surviving life we get to use life to create things, help people, and find meaning. We get to read, and work, and travel. We get to eat for pleasure, gather around a table with friends, and throw parties.
When life isn’t merely about survival there is a certain joy that should always be in the undercurrent of our minds. That obviously can’t always be the case when there is trouble, and trial, and difficulty. But in the open spaces of life when everything is relatively easy we ought to be taking every advantage not only to get ahead in life, but to do what we can to help and serve other people.
Unlike the animals it isn’t just about living one more day if we possibly can. We get to live as God’s highest creatures in God’s great creation doing what we can to enhance life for other people. Helping and serving brings meaning to our lives and provides joy for the journey.
What will you do today with the relatively easy life God has given you? How about trying some of these things:
- Lend a hand to someone who doesn’t expect it
- Give away something of value
- Write a poem
- Read that book that’s been on your shelf for a long time
- Let another car cut safely in front of you
- Volunteer to watch the neighbor’s kids
- Start something brand new
- Take a nap
- Stay up late
- Watch a documentary
So what will you do today with the relatively easy life God has given you?