Author Lois Cheney tells a story about a man who clung to the railing of his life. It goes like this:
“The man saw people love each other, and he saw that all love made strenuous demands on the lovers. He saw love requires sacrifice and self-denial. He saw love produce arguments and anguish, and he decided that it cost too much. He decided not to diminish life with love.
He saw people strive for distant goals. He saw men and women pursue high, high ideals, and he saw that striving was frequently mixed with disappointment…And he decided that it cost too much. He decided not to soil his life with striving.
He saw people serving others. He saw men give money to the poor and helpless, and he saw the more they served, the faster the need grew. He saw some ungrateful receivers turn on their serving friends. And he decided not to soil his life with serving.
And when he died, he walked up to God and presented him with his life. Undiminished, unmarred, and unsoiled, his life was clean from the filth of the world, and he presented it proudly, saying, “This is my life.” And the great God said, “What life?”