“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” James 4:14 (NLT)
I feel like so many of the messages I heard as a teenager were built around reminding me that life is short. The sentiment, while completely true, tended to fall upon deaf ears. Even now as I approach the big 3-0 in the coming year, I am still thinking of my life in terms of “I’m still on this side of the hill.” I’m still on the side where I should have plenty of time for all of the things I’ve been called to do and all of the things that I want to do.
But as we discussed yesterday, there’s no way of predicting what’s coming our way in the future. So that means… (drumroll, please) … I have to carefully choose how I spend my time. Rather than spending it like pennies, I should weigh my hours like hundred dollar bills. Perhaps this would keep the T.V. off more and the eternal perspective at the ready.
Did you know that 9 years of the avgerage life is spent watching T.V.? NINE YEARS! While television and other forms of entertainment can certainly be entertaining; it can also diminish and change our desires. I’m not saying that watching is going to drive us to make really bad choices, but I do think it can dull us into believing that lattes, sports teams, and new placemats are a goal worth striving for.
“Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” –Tim Kizziar
Living for God is more than just avoiding badness and getting good grades. Life for millions of people is a movie here, hanging out with friends, video games, swimming, buying stuff at the mall, going to a pool, making it to church. And that’s it. Anything inherently wrong with those things? Nope.
We were created for more, far more.
No one on their dying bed is going to regret not spending enough time at the mall or watching movies. When you are asked what you did with this brief moment – what will you say? I played basketball and made an A in History?
What are you doing with your life?
The world says, “You’re young, have fun!” It tells us to “obey your thirst” and “just do it.” Or it tells us, “You’re great! You don’t need to exert yourself.” But those kinds of mindsets sabotage character and competence. Doing the jobs no one wants, doing them well, living well… it’s how we build character and competence.
Don’t let a life of entertainment, leisure, and comfort stuff deter you from the reality that this life is short and that there is much work to be done!
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24 (NIV)
“Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ.” Philippians 3:8 (CEV)
“Here’s the truth about telling stories with your life. It’s going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it. It’s like that with writing books, and it’s like that with life. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain.”
“The ambitions we have will become the stories we live. If you want to know what a person’s story is about, just ask them what they want. If we don’t want anything, we are living boring stories, and if we want a Roomba vacuum cleaner, we are living stupid stories. If it won’t work in a story, it won’t work in life.” –Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years