The abundance and value of human life


By Sherry Weller - Contributing columnist



Seems like everyone has something to say about life.

The Dalai Lama said “the purpose of our lives is to be happy.” Someone anonymously wrote: “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.”

Even the great philosopher Dr. Seuss quipped: “Step with care and great tact, and remember that life’s a great balancing act.”

I don’t know about you, but I think about life quite often. After all, I am a living, breathing being and if not for the life within my body, I would not be able to share these thoughts with you.

Don’t we all at some level wonder about the meaning of life? Why are we here? What is the purpose? Is anything going to matter anyway when this life is over?

I love Charlie’s Brown’s honesty when he announced, “In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back.”

I agree, Charlie Brown! So, where do we turn for answers? What hope is there for making sense of it all?

In Scripture, Jesus said that He came to give us life and to give it abundantly (John 10:10).

On most days, I’ll just take life itself. Seeing how much hurt and pain and lifelessness we all tend to live with, I’m not sure I want any more of it. Doesn’t abundant life mean that I have more of life? That life can be quantified? I’m not sure I want that…

I wonder if Jesus’ idea of abundant life means more than just the amount we’re given. Maybe it means in the midst of this life that we live, those of us who have abundant life experience and view things differently than those who don’t.

As I’ve studied Jesus’ life over the years, I’ve come to realize that even though He was human and certainly faced the same challenges and temptations and discouragement that we all face, He had a perspective that kept His mind at peace. He never became ruffled in a tight spot; He handled every encounter as if in complete control.

I love Him for that. I love that He could tell his disciples (and He tells us), “Do not let your heart be troubled… I am the way, the truth and the LIFE” (John 14:1,6).

You see, Jesus viewed life differently because He not only had a close relationship with the Father in times of trouble, but He was God himself, living among us.

He came to this earth to live as a man, to walk through this life and experience all the trials and struggles we experience. He took on flesh and left the glories of heaven to prove His love for us.

He came to this earth to die so that you and I wouldn’t have to. He, the creator of all life, chose death so that we might live.

If that doesn’t give you a different perspective and really hit home the reality that you are loved and valued and your life is worth immeasurably more than you could ever imagine, I don’t know what will.

As we approach the Sanctity of Life Sunday, let us be reminded of the value of a human life and understand that it is worth taking the time to recognize.

In 1984, President Reagan issued a proclamation that one day every year would be set aside to simply recognize the worth of a human life. It seems fitting to me that this day is followed by another national memorial we celebrate honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If not for King’s efforts decades ago to bring attention to the value of every single human life, we might still be blind to our hate and disregard for others. He urged us to consider that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

From what I’ve read, Dr. King knew Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord. He knew that Jesus came to this earth to do for others and to offer the ultimate sacrifice.

By accepting His gift and following His example, Dr. King chose to do for others as well and he came to experience abundant life.

My hope and prayer is that more of us would do the same. May we know the value of a life, the value of our own life, and the sacrifice that was made on our behalf.

May we fully understand and experience abundant life.

Sherry Weller is Executive Director of New Life Clinic in Wilmington.

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By Sherry Weller

Contributing columnist