Abraham had a meaningful life that most of us would consider successful. I would ask us to consider three reasons why Abraham did so well in life: Abraham had courage! He did not allow fear or anxiety to overwhelm him. When God directed him to leave his comfortable home and venture out into a far land, with the expectation of unknowns, less than desirable conditions and ruthless inhabitants he had the courage to move forward with alacrity. Most people do not naturally demonstrate this type of courage at 75 years old.
Abraham was creative! He was worried that Sarah was too attractive to stay unnoticed by the local despots. Evidently, it was common for someone to steal your cute wife and murder you in the process. He asked Sarah to fudge a bit and deny they were husband and wife, for at least the time being. Although, the plan backfired and was certainly not his most shining moment, it reveals his willingness to think outside the box. Another quick example of Abraham’s creativity was his negotiations with Lot when the two households were fighting with each other. Abraham gave Lot an offer that would have been very difficult to refuse. When Lot accepted, peace between their households was stabilized immediately.
Abraham was committed! God called him from a very predictable and comfortable life to an uncertain and unpredictable future. Abraham had every opportunity in the beginning and along the way to abort the mission: His father became ill, so Abraham was forced to stop about half way to the destination. After his father’s death he immediately moved onward. On another occasion, Abraham went to Egypt to keep his distance from the famine that emerged in Canaan. As soon as the famine ended, Abraham hurried back to where God had called him to be, in spite of the opportunities in Egypt at that time.
A meaningful and successful life must demonstrate a measure of courage, creativity and commitment. I know that many have these characteristics intrinsically, without a faith orientation, but I have chosen out of necessity to try to demonstrate these attributes by the grace of God through and by my faith. And I suspect many of you feel the same.
Joseph C. Hutchison, Rochester Hills, Michigan 2020
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