by keb

While I may not have been actively writing as much on the Giving Bliss blog or writing articles, the theme of giving has been on my mind these last few years as I have looked at myself and those around me. History and literature have many stories of dramatic change–some very rapidly. Saul in the New Testament, becomes Paul quite quickly. We’ve all heard stories of the dramatic fall of a hero turned villain, or villain finding some humanity, at some apex of the narrative.

But more common, is the slow and subtle change. I have witnessed this for myself, not as an outsider–because I’ve seen this change in me.

When I began this project, I had a completely different title. It was Finding Bliss, which turned out to be a not so good movie made with the same title. The point of my book was to assist people in finding joy in their lives.

When I discovered that I could not use that title, that is when inspiration struck. It wasn’t more than 2 minutes when I had the new title and new direction. While the result is the same, the approach is different. Instead of helping people to find happiness by looking for happiness, Giving Bliss is a project about giving happiness, which results in a purer joy than in strictly self-interest. The Master spoke well when He taught about losing one’s life – and finding it

I cannot explain adequately the change that has come over me. The change is not over –  I hope it isn’t over because it is marvelous! My capacity to love and to forgive has dramatically increased. It wasn’t overnight. But I can tell a pronounced difference. And this isn’t just love for my immediate family and neighbors I know – but in complete strangers! I don’t upset as easily when someone cuts me off. It is easier for me to give the benefit of the doubt. When someone has said something unkind or a little put off at me – I don’t offend as easily.

Please don’t take this as a boast. For I have many imperfections that need ironing out. Some very heavy wrinkles. I am just thrilled with the change.

Giving used to be something I thought about. It isn’t anymore. Now it is a yearning and a hunger. My leisure time isn’t the same. Doing things just for me and my entertainment doesn’t have the draw it used to. I am more satisfied in writing a letter to someone, or doing things for my wife or children.

I am beginning to see, at least in a very small way, how the Savior could live His whole life for others. It is because of His love. He yearned to help and serve. It was His driving force. The love in His heart was so great that He had to help, because not doing so would be agony.

Anyone can make this change–to give and to love. But it is like planting a garden. The little things you do over time make possible the harvest. Tending the young plants, watering, weeding, fertilizing, pruning–consistent watchful care and effort. That is exactly the experience I am having. I am seeing the garden come to life. I hope everyone will discover this, because to see someone not experience this joy would be agony to me.