Give Your Life Away

My arms are sore from turning double-dutch jump ropes. 

From 6:30 PM-7:30 PM, 30 (yes, thirty!) parents and children came out to the parking lot for Monday Night Neighborhood Fitness.  Imagine a swarm of children riding bikes and scooters or playing football and Frisbee.  Imagine a car blaring music from an iPod so a group of children can dance.  Imagine moms and dads walking together and connecting in their own neighborhood. 

Imagine a little boy tugging on my sleeve to announce he rode ten times around the lot which I clocked for him as one mile.  Imagine another little girl finally learning to jump rope. 

I need more kites!  I need more cones for obstacle courses!  I want hula hoops and another set of ropes! 

Why am I so happy when I’m turning jump ropes?  It makes no sense that something like this would so deeply change my life. 

Over the weekend, I hear Larry Crabb (a Christian psychologist) talking about the goal of Christian therapy.  As someone who battled depression all those years and reads everything I can about finding happiness, I drop everything to listen. 

Crabb tells me that, typically, we think about counseling and our own happiness as answering the question, “How much can I get out of my life?”  But therapy in the truest, Biblical sense asks, “How much can I give of my life?”  In practice, I have found my own happiness bloom fully when I’m involved in tasks that serve others and let me forget myself.

I want to give my life away.  Turning jump ropes isn’t glamorous, and it doesn’t generate any revenue.  But something about this task has secured more happiness for me than anything else I’ve done this year. 

Journal:  How is God asking me to give my life away? 

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  1. Turning the jump rope and sharing that little boy's accomplishment – easy but such important ways to share yourself. I agree wholeheartedly, I am happiest when I am connecting with others in a giving way. It takes me out of myself. And it doesn't have to be big giving – a smile, a wave, a kind word – they are all things that give joy to others who are receptive. There is always someone in our lives – or on the edge of it, or just outside it – who would benefit from our small efforts, and so many people do not realize this large truth, and put their efforts elsewhere only to get disappointing results.

  2. Sounds like such a wonderful community spirit. I wish there could be more of things like that instead of everyone living such insular lives! How did it get started?

    As a Christian Counsellor, I would agree that turning our focus outwards can make us less 'problem saturated' & focused & lead to a new perspective that asks 'What can I do that will make a difference in someone else's life?'. We then become solution focused.

  3. Heather – I love hearing about the Monday Fitness group. I think this is such a wonderful, life-giving ministry. And that sweet boy riding a mile. A mile! That sounds so big for such a little guy.