Giving and Receiving
Freely have you received, freely give.
~ Matthew 10:1
Feeling happy and successful is mostly a matter of being grateful for what you have, and being able to do something that you enjoy, something you feel makes a difference to someone. Whenever you see polls on how happy people are, it always seems to be the people in hard-hitting, ambitious jobs that are most miserable. It might be partly a matter of stress or just reflect the nature of people who go into various occupations, but I don't think so, because I've been both places.
Fourteen years ago, I walked away from a successful law practice. I was so “stressed and depressed” that I no longer cared about the money I was giving up, because I just knew that there was something better out there; and I didn't find it — instead, Christ found me.
I have been lucky to have enough money set aside to be comfortable, so that I didn't need any earned income to get along and have been able to devote so much time to Daily Prayer. But I found peace and satisfaction in late middle age, way beyond my young dreams of self-glory and riches.
When I tell people what I do, they assume I make my living from Daily Prayer. Atheists sometimes simply can't grasp that I do it as a “mission” or “calling” rather than a job. Even Christians sometimes find it hard to believe I don't make any money from it. But being able to operate without paying salaries has given me enormous freedom to serve only one Master. I do not have to worry about keeping donors satisfied, because Daily Prayer could operate without donations: All donations go either to advertising the site and thus helping people find this resource, or else are distributed to direct Christian charities in time of crisis.
May all of you be blessed as I have been. I can only be a partial witness, because I have kept enough to have an air-conditioned residence, a fairly nice car, etc. I didn't move down the socio-economic scale; I only abandoned my goals and stopped trying to move higher. But even that comparatively small sacrifice has made for so much more contentment and fulfillment in my life. It is a gift beyond value.
Lord, let me always know that the rewards of this world are illusory, and fulfillment comes only from serving You. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer