When we’re young and we look at others who are growing up we take it as a matter of course that the various “passages” involved will each come our way in due time. Each passage will bring with it a new phase in our lives. Each will affect the way we see ourselves and the way we relate to others. “Growing up,” then, means changing at various stages the way we relate. This too has an effect on the way we relate to You.
When we ponder the meaning of life, especially insofar as what meaning we give to our own lives, we often think in terms of growing into it, or finding it, as we evolve mentally, physically, and spiritually. If life is Your gift to us and what we make of it is our gift to You – what kind of gift will we give You?
We tend to think of “making” this gift over a lifetime, but I think the gift is already made. We just need to wrap it. How we wrap it depends on our understanding of the gift. In You and Your life the gift was defined. Our relationship with God is to be as a child to a loving father; and our relationship with others is to be as a loving servant. This gift need not be striven for but rather accepted and wrapped as our own gift to You. It is there from our birth to our death. It is not grown into or out of. It is simply there. I am a child of the Father all my life and I am a servant to His other children all my life. This is the gift. It can be neglected and left an unpackaged shambles if I choose, or it can be maintained, polished, and adorned.
What it means to be a child of God and a servant of men is simply that my life, as a gift, was meant for others. My life was given to be given. My life is meant to pass on. The gift, properly cared for and wrapped, was meant to be given. And so, as a child gives himself in totally dependent reliance upon a parent – so is my dependence totally on the Father.
Furthermore, my life is stifled by “self,” but it is a bit more polished and adorned when given as a gift to others. All the “passages” of life are affected by this. “Growing up” is meant to be “growing out” as we grasp the meaning of life’s gift. My gift to You, then, has already been given to me by You. It is already Yours. I’m wrapping it now.