Pause

Life should not be lived alone. God has called us to help others, whether they are friends, neighbors, family, or strangers, through tough times. We are to carry one another’s burdens in this life together.

In these next moments, think about those around you, those with whom you live. How could you help them as they struggle?

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Listen

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3-4

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Think

It seems like everyone wants to get ahead. Ambition is all around. On the first day of school, we begin a stressful sprint toward a finish line. We struggle for our spot in lines for a bus, for lunch, and even for the restroom.

The novel Lord of the Flies is a fictional story of a group of schoolboys stranded on a deserted island. At first they try to help each other. But over time, certain boys want to be in charge; they start taking sides and being cruel. By the end of the story, the schoolboys have become like animals in their cruelty and even murder.

Selfish ambition often leads to meanness, and even the winner can wind up unhappy. Lily Tomlin said it best: “The problem with a rat race is that even if you win, you are still a rat.”

Patricia Lyons

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Pray

Loving God, help me to better love my neighbors, you, and myself. Amen.

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Go

Life together means we care for those who are hurting. We embrace those who are going through tough times. We remind others, “You are not alone. I will never leave you.” We also remind others of the promise of God to never leave them or forsake them, even in the midst of a storm.

Go today with the confidence you have in God’s presence and be the presence of God in someone’s life today.

Patricia Lyons

Patricia Lyons currently teaches religion and ethics at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes High School in Alexandria, Virginia, and also teaches adults at Virginia Theological Seminary.

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