In the original score of the musical Sound of Music, these beautiful lines were part of the song “You are sixteen going on seventeen”:
A bell is no bell till you ring it A song is no song till you sing it And love in your heart wasn't put there to stay Love isn't love till you give it away.
The heart knows it – love is not love unless we give it away. We do not save what we keep for ourselves but we multiply what we give to others. Nature knows it. Unless a seed dies and gives up its life, no new life is ever possible. Science knows it – what we do not use we lose. Muscles that are not used nor exercised soon waste away and get atrophied. Even in finance, money that is left idle soon loses its value to inflation.
People often ask the question, “What’s in it for me?” in making a decision. It is very natural and usually the first thing that comes to my mind when I have to choose. And I often wonder how I can change that natural impulse to make it more Christian, in keeping with Christ’s promise and challenge of making things a hundredfold more, or even a thousandfold more.
“How can I make this for three?” I am able to move beyond myself. I create more thus I have more to share. I am rewarded as Christ promised a hundredfold and even a thousandfold. Then, the bell is rung; the song is sung and love has grown deep.