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What Life?

He saw people love each other. He saw friends love friends. He saw mothers love children. He saw husbands love wives. And he saw that all love made strenuous demands on the lovers. He saw love require sacrifice and self-denial. He saw love produce arguments and anguish. He saw it bring disappointment, pain, and even death. And he decided that it cost too much. And he decided not to diminish his life with love. He saw people strive for distant and hazy goals. He saw men strive for success. He saw women strive for high, high ideals. He saw young people strive for attainment. And he saw that the striving was frequently mixed with disappointment. And he saw the strong men fail, maimed, and even killed. He saw it force people into pettiness, grasping at those things they both saw and didn’t see. He saw that those who succeeded were sometimes those who had not earned the success. And he decided that it cost too much. He decided not to soil his life with striving. He saw people serving others. He saw men give money to the poor and helpless. He saw whole groups work to build, cleanse, and heal others. And he saw that the more they served, the faster the need grew. He saw large portions of money freely given line already fat pockets. He saw new schools filled with uncaring teachers. He saw ungrateful receivers turn on their serving friends. And he decided that that cost too much. He decided not to soil his life with serving. And when he died, he walked up to the God and presented him with his life. Undiminished, unmarred, and unsoiled, his life was clean from the filth of the world, and he presented it proudly to the mighty God saying, “This is my life.” And the great God said, “What life?”

Lois Cheney, God Is No Fool, pp. 140-41

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