Given the Christian tone of my written musings, one might quickly conclude the message of this essay without reading it. Let me guess. Yet another written message of praise for our Savior Jesus Christ. Yes, the ultimate sacrifice to take away the sins of the world. And well deserved praise it would be. However, that isn’t the angle I was aiming for when I heard Reverend Paul Rasmussen define sacrifice as:
Surrendering something you love for something you love more.
Sometimes a word or phrase we have known and used all our lives takes on new meaning. The definition ingrained in us gets reignited with a spark of truth.
This take on the definition caught me off guard because he used the word LOVE. Twice. I could find no other definition that so honestly stated what true sacrifice is really all about. It is at the very core about love.
Most common definitions state that a sacrifice is giving up something you want for the sake of someone or something else.
There is nothing wrong with that interpretation. It just fails to answer one very simple question. Why? Why would we give up something for the sake of someone else?
It seems that some people sacrifice more instinctively than others. I'm not sure whether there is more love in them, more awareness of those around them or simply more surrender. But it is worth asking yourself the question. Do I love those around me? Am I demonstrating that love by putting their needs, wants, and desires ahead of my own?
Therein lies the problem. We love, but we still want what we want. Selfless sacrifice is something that takes practice. Let's get started.
As for the Christian message you were expecting, I can only repeat the final phrase of Rev. Rasmussen’s sermon:
Sacrificing something you love for something you love more is the ultimate way to glorify God.
Run in Peace, Rest in Grace