We learned in school that when the sun heats ocean water, it evaporates into the air. As the water vapor cools, clouds form. If enough water condenses, the droplets become heavy enough to fall to ground as rain or snow. Some rain collects below the ground. The rest flows through rivers back into the ocean, and the cycle repeats itself. The water cycle is so predictable and routine that some people fail to grasp how important it is. They join the writer of Ecclesiastes in saying “Everything is meaningless” and without purpose. The same writer posed another question that betrays a cynical attitude toward life: “What do people get for all their hard work under the sun?” He suggests that a person can work a whole life and have nothing to show for it. Jesus later posed that same question–but to arrest our attention about life. On His way to die on the cross, He paused to tell the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Those two questions that Jesus posed to the crowd long ago are the same two questions each person should ponder today.
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