I recently experienced such a realization. It was this:
I am living my life right now.
Perhaps those five words elicited a chuckle, or a head shaking smile from you from their sheer no-brainer-ness, but just think about it for a moment.
These moments, these days, months, and years... this is it. This is my life. It’s not like I’m simply here to observe and take notes, and then the “real deal” comes later. No. This is not a how-to guide, or a prologue. Every breath I take is a part of my eternal story, and that amazes – and, honestly, rather frightens - me.
This is my one chance.
Understand that I don’t say all of this in a despairing way, or in the way the world would say it – that because this world is all there is, I need to live my best life now. Not at all. I know that this life on earth is simply the foreshadowing of greater things to come. I know that when my life here is through, I will join my Savior in paradise, glorifying Him with the perfected body of Christ for eternity. Oh, and what a glorious day that will be!
But this – these few, brief years on earth - is my once chance to be a light in this dark world. This is my one chance to love, to reach out to the lost, to be a disciple of Christ.
And it makes me look back over the past eighteen years and wonder... how much of this beautiful life have I wasted? I don’t have to think about that for more than a moment to know that the answer is too much.
Too much time spent waiting, wondering, fearing, hoping, dreaming, procrastinating... too many wasted moments. Too many days left unused. Too many hours spent in self-absorption.
Not enough time spent abiding in God.
In reality, the Christian life isn’t difficult. It is our flesh, and our inclination to follow its every whim, that makes it so incredibly hard.
If you’re anything like me, life can at times become nothing more than a routine to be fulfilled, rather than precious time to be used wisely. How often do you think about the fact that your life is fading away? Chances are that’s probably not something that you think about all the time. I think that is why at times God gives us a tap on the shoulder (or perhaps more of a jarring shake) to wake us up and remind us to live.
The brevity of life is something that frequently comes to my mind, but I don’t often dwell on it. I think Christians need to do more of that – again, not in a despairing way, but so that we don’t lose sight of the value of life. We need to remember that there is more at stake than our comfort and happiness (and that true peace and joy are found in Jesus Christ).
Don’t take your life for granted. Don’t waste the minutes and days you’ve been given. Take advantage of the opportunities that are before you, share the love of Christ and be an advocate for freedom, enjoy the small things, be willing to take risks, do your best, love to the fullest. Live to the glory of God, and you will indeed live well.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city,
and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.”
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.
You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.