"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Letters Of Encouragement : Are You Really Living?

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Life's too short -

A phrase we hear nearly too frequently. Often times, it is used to validate an action we have decided to take, or decision we have made. It is a sort of OK stamp to those things we desire or would like to do but just cannot find enough courage. It has become the excuse to do those things we normally would not do due to the norms imposed by society or ourselves just to make life a little more "eventful" since it's "too short".

But, is life really that short?

We say it so often we fail to give it any after thought anymore. The way I see it, life is not that short, it's the way we are living it, or not, that makes it seem so. It's not life that's short, but our perception of life that is too poor

Firstly, a long life does not mean a rich life. It's not the length of one's life that determines how meaningful it is. So this proves it's not how long or how short life is that determines how well lived life could be.

Secondly, the words life is too short really mean life is not long enough. These two do not mean the same thing. The former speaks about a premature end whilst the former describes a lack of time. When people say "life is too short" they are really saying, "life is not long enough". This leads us to ask, "long enough for what?" What is it that life is not long enough for? Or what would we like to have more time in life to do? I believe if we focused our time, energy and gifts on what really matters in life, we'd find that we have ample time to do exactly what needs to be done.

Thirdly, whether life is long enough or too short does not change the fragility of life. In the twinkle of an eye, all can be lost. From something to nothing. Life can be gone in a second. That is how fragile life is.

So if our complaint of life being too short is really a way of saying life it not long enough, then the issue must be what we invest our resources in. Most of us seek one  thing : to please ourselves. To do all that needs to be done just to please us. However, somewhere down the line, we find this to be an exercise in futility. We can never be filled. And we find ourselves saying, "life's too short". If we invested in the right things, we would be amazed at how much we would fulfil and we'd find we had ample time to do what we can with the resources God has given us. Man was never meant to live for self. God created man out of love. Love does not consider self (1 Corinthians 13:5). Living for self becomes a vicious cycle going nowhere. Therefore man is unable to live a fulfilled life. 
Luke 6:38 according to the Message translation says,"Give away your life; you'll find life given back". This tells us that one of the keys to living is not living for self. This, of course, is not what we are taught, we are shown on the media or what we see. Every day seems to be a race to get one thing or do that thing. All for us. But never getting enough, we go in for more and at the end, frustrated, we declare life is too short.
That is not living.
Living has got nothing to do with getting what we want or even need. It's not about being comfortable, being in the spotlight, feeling important or secure. No none of that. It's not even about being surrounded by loved ones (not directly). I've come to realise that living is about others. 
Living is about what we do for others and the seeds we sow in their lives, whether it be our time, our counsel, our finances, our gifts, our smile, our patience...the list goes on. Once we realise our lives are not our own, that it's not about us, we are one step closer to really living.
"Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity"
This is the full version of the verse I quoted above (Luke 6:38).
"Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it" Luke 13 : 33.
These two verses really bring it home. Our life and our living is not about us. It's about others.

So what can we do for others? Well, you don't have to sell your property, cross the globe and join a mission. It's the little things. Can you smile? Then smile to the driver on the bus. Can you listen, then listen to the old lady in your building. Can you write? Then write a short word of encouragement to your colleague. Can you observe? Then buy your class mate that never seems to have enough a sandwich at lunch. Can you speak, then compliment your sister/brother on their outfit. Can you spare a quarter, a dime, a penny, a shilling, a franc or more? Then give to the homeless man you pass by everyday on your way to work. Do you have a sense of style? Then get your gear on and start inspiring. Can you do more? Then start doing. Start living.
In the few years I have spent on earth so far, I have found more fulfilment doing for others and living my life in full consideration of others than doing anything for me. This is what we created for. 
Never forget this, it's not about you. So many people out there need just an ion of what you have. And these are things that are in your reach. Everyday, we can give out without it costing us nothing. We just need a change of heart that comes along with a change of mind.

Now that we know what true living is all about...It means every second of every day is gold. Every second is filled with opportunities. Every encounter is fertile ground to sow. Every bus ride becomes a cocktail of opportunities. That's when we begin to realise just what a day means how much we can do in a day. No wonder , "one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day" (2 Peter 3 : 8).
God has given us the time we need to do just what we need to do. However, this does not condone wasting time or slacking off. This is the other extra from "life is not long enough". Whatever you do, remember, your life is not about you. Remember others. And do all things with diligence and as if there is no tomorrow. Who knows what tomorrow holds? "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6 :34). Do what you can today if it's within your abilities but do not use this as an excuse to live life recklessly."Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord" (Colossians 3:23).
There is so much more to life if we could only just open our eyes. Do not let yourself be carried by the concerns and buzz of life, instead open your physical and spiritual eyes to see the life beyond what society paints and dictates and then begin to reach.
When we start reaching and giving out. That's when we start living.

Shalom

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. All the glory be to God sis!
      Thank you for passing and for your continuous encouraging words.
      God bless you!

      Delete
  2. Wow...beautiful post! I needed this! God bless you for sharing!

    Tell the World

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the glory be to God sis!
      God bless you too!

      Delete
  3. THIS. I feel even more blessed after reading this. I want to share this quote that I live by: Live life to the fullest, be thankful and have heart - the worst will come, but it's nothing stronger than a God-made human. God bless and have a great life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jason!
      Thank you for passing by and leaving such a lovely comment.
      All the glory be to God!
      Thank you for that encouraging quote.
      God bless you richly!

      Delete

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