Borrowing From Life

In the Biblical Book of Samuel 1, Chapter 1 verse 20, the childless Hannah prays to God for a child, and if blessed with a son, she would dedicate him to the service of God. God answers her prayer and she calls the baby by the name of Samuel, saying, “Because I have borrowed him from the Eternal.”

In that phrase, “I have borrowed him from the Eternal” we find a much needed philosophy of life. Our attitudes and values, our yearnings, our entire mode of living would undergo a total and blessed change, if we thought that, not only our children, but all our possessions – health, comfort, gifts, talents, wealth, opportunity and life itself – are borrowed from God and entrusted to us for useful purposes and dedicated living.¬†more info¬†

Sooner or later we must learn that all things are loaned to us, and that all of us are large borrowers from life. Even before we were born, each of us borrowed from our mother some of her vitality, the very marrow of her bones, the calcium of her teeth, the nourishment from her food. And ever since, we have borrowed from life.

Do we not borrow food from the earth, light from the sun, beauty from the heavens, fragrance from the flowers, and truth from the universe? Do we not borrow from each other: The merchant and the consumer, the teacher and the student, the musician and the audience, the parent and the child? we are all indebted to each other.

Not only individuals, but society borrows from one another. We borrowed our system of numerals, the basis of arithmetic from the Arabs, our alphabet from the Phoenicians, our law from the Romans, our art from the Greeks, our opera from the Italians, our ethics from the Jews, our hope for salvation from the Christians,
Borrowing largely from life and from one another, means that we musy repay our loan. We can do this by ennobling human existence. Borrowing love we must repay with thoughtfulness. Borrowing labor we must repay with honest services. Borrowing from beauty we must repay with appreciation. Borroing from other people we must repay with understanding, with a respect for differences and good will.

The structure of our society rests upon the good deeds and gifts that are mutually exchanged. Life is glorified through these borrowings and repayments. How do we repay what we borrow?

We borrow friendship and we repay with sincere relationship. We borrow love and we repay with tenderness. We borrow positions of honor and we repay with devotion. We borrow positions of leadership and we repay with commitment. If we are blessed with wealth and material possessions, which are really loans, we repay with generosity and service to the community. We borrow from our children and we repay with love, guidance and being role models. Our children borrow from us and they repay with love, understanding and respect.

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