Charles Dickens’ Oliver, still hungry after his meager portion of cruel, boldly approaches the workhouse master and asks, “Please sir, could I have more?” In a world where the majority of people face a similar situation every day, even those of us with full bellies still ask for more. More bang for the buck, more miles per gallon, more value added features, more happiness, more fulfillment, more time! Even when we simplify our lives and focus our energies and discover that “less is more,” it’s still “more” we’re after. More peace, more balance, more of everything good.
But what happens when you actually get more of what you’re seeking? Does it lead to more contentment and satisfaction? Or does getting more make us want even more yet? Many of our appetites for things like food, fitness, and life festivities leave us saying, “That was great! Let’s do it again!” Whether we are “addicted” to something good or something bad, our appetites easily become satiated and yet left wanting more.
Consider facing a terminal illness or any other situation that leaves you pleading for “a second chance.” If your life circumstance was redeemed and restored, how would you respond? We’ve heard “there are no atheists in foxholes,” and we know that many desperate “negotiations” are made in desperate times. “If only you do this, I’ll certainly do that.” But would we follow through? If faced with a month to live, you were granted many more months or even years, would it forever change the way you spend your remaining time? Or would you continue to fritter it away on meaningless activities? If the court gavel came down with the verdict of guilty, and yet someone stepped in and paid the price for your wrongdoing, would it change the way you lived your life each day after?
That’s the picture of God’s gift of grace. He gives us life with so many second chances. He gave his Son to not only pay the price for our rebellious ways but also to provide an inheritance into his kingdom. And more yet, he gave us his very Spirit to guide, comfort, strengthen, and teach us everything we need.
Whether you have good reason to believe your days are very short or whether you think you have many years left, why not live each and every day with a thankful and generous spirit as if you were miraculously redeemed? If you’re sure you’d rejoice if the darkness of your worries were wiped away tomorrow, why not let the light of that hope shine brightly in the midst of your pain today?
Today is called the present because it is a gift. Look for and celebrate the goodness that remains in your life today and share it with others. I think you’ll find more of everything you really wanted.