BLOG SERIES: MY JOURNEY
Maybe our life down here on earth is supposed to have meaning. Maybe we were not given our life simply to live life as we please. Perhaps God has a specific plan for each and every one of us. But how do we go about discovering what that plan is? How do we make the most of the life we have been given? How do we live our life in a way that is pleasing to God?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines life in this way: the period from birth to death; a specific phase of earthly existence.
Every one of us has a specific window of time to live on this earth. For some, their window is longer, maybe 60, 70, or 80 years. And for others, their window seems to expire early, say after only 20, 30, or 40 years, or even earlier.
We just never know when our time on earth will come to an end. For this reason, some would use this as an excuse to “live life to the fullest.” They may feel that since they only have a short time to live, they may as well live it up. This often includes living selfishly, and recklessly.
I, however, don’t think that this is the way life is meant to be lived. A wasted life, is just that: a wasted life. Why not use the time we have to contribute to the good in the world? Or, seek out God’s will for our lives, and use every precious moment we’ve been given to do His will and live a life that is pleasing to Him?
I have a tendency to look at people’s faces and read their life story. People may not realize it, but their life’s story is often written on their face. Every crease, frown line, and sad countenance tells a story. There are also the eyes, which truly are the window to the soul. Through a person’s eyes you can tell if they are lost, happy, hurting, kind and gentle, or mean and evil. The eyes reveal a lot about a person.
I’ve also noticed that there is a certain “look” about a person who’s lived a particularly hard life, such as a life lived on the streets, excessive drinking, smoking, fighting, clubbing, etc. The streets are not kind to anyone. They have a way of hardening you and taking away your youthful vigor. Instead of looking young and refreshed, you end up looking old and tired. Life has not been kind to these people.
Life also has a way of getting away from us. We look up, and before we know it, we’re looking at an old man or old woman in the mirror and realizing that we have accomplished none of our goals, have forgotten about our dreams, and are wondering where our youth has gone. My mother used to always say, “time waits for no man.” This is true. Time could either be our best friend, or our worst enemy. So use it wisely.
If our friends and family, that have passed on before us, could come back and speak to us, I wonder what they’d say? They would probably tell us that all of the things we are struggling and working hard for — money, position, fame, material wealth, the approval of man — are not worth it, because these things don’t matter in the grave.
Our departed loved ones would probably tell us to make it a priority to spend more time (quality time) with family, because in the end, family is what matters most. They would also probably tell us to take better care of ourselves: eat healthy, exercise, quit smoking, and eliminate unnecessary stress from our lives.
I’m sure there is a lot of regret in the grave: some unspoken “I love you’s” or “I’m sorry’s”, and wasted time longed to be gotten back.
I’m starting to notice how things like excessive stress, bitterness, unresolved anger, and unforgiveness can really affect a person in the long run. Carrying these things around is like ingesting poison, every day, and expecting it not to harm you. These things slowly, over time, begin to chip away at your soul.
Your world, seen through the prism of bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness, is cloudy and dark. They only weigh you down. There is no joy. No peace. I’ve seen these things take a strong, youthful man, and over time, turn him into an old, bitter man, whose soul has been ravaged in the same way cancer ravages and destroys the body.
Life is too precious, and too short, to carry these things around. Release them. Free yourself from their death-grip once and for all.
When we were younger, we lived next door to this elderly lady who had a fence around her yard, and a permanent scowl on her face. She was not a happy lady. I don’t know if she had many visitors. She seemed to have built a fence around her yard, and her heart, to keep people out. As would often happen with kids at play, occasionally, our ball would go over the fence and into her yard. She was not happy about this. Sometimes we would get our ball back, and sometimes we would not. She had very little patience for children.
Looking back on it now, I wonder what happened in her life to make her so bitter. Perhaps, at one time in her life she was actually a pretty happy person. Maybe she was once the kind-hearted neighbor who gave candy and good advice to the neighborhood children.
One really never knows what happens in a person’s life to turn them bitter and mean. People have a way of building a wall around their hearts to protect themselves from hurt and pain. But unfortunately, this wall usually leaves you alone and isolated, turning you into a person you never thought you’d be.
If you’re holding onto bitterness, anger, resentment….let it go. Free yourself. Carrying these things around is like carrying a dead man around on your back. Eventually, he will kill you.
Life is precious. We only have one life to live. Choose to live a life of purpose. Make sure the one life you have has meaning, and most importantly, that it is pleasing to the Father.