1 Chronicles 29:15
It’s been a rough few weeks with the sudden passing of my nephew followed by a precious new friend whose battle with cancer came to an end. My heart is heavy as I hang on to the memories of yesteryear and yesterday bringing to surface the hard truth that life is short. Suffering and death bring to light the one thing we take for granted every day, LIFE.
God spoke to my heart in the deaths of two very different and precious people as their lives each unfolded before me. One so sudden and unexpected and the other planned for. How could God use their deaths to speak life so easily taken for granted to my heart? As memories, stories and the examples they led were spoken around me, I realized we get so consumed living life in our yesterdays and even our todays planning for our tomorrow’s we forget to purposely live our today. We plan for our tomorrow’s and fill our calendars with so many things that life passes us by and before we know it a life ends suddenly or are given an unforeseen diagnosis and life comes to a stop. Or does it?
I had the privilege to see one grow over the years and the other (though more recent) walk with the fullness of life in her last days. Two very different souls, but each had a commonality. One lived not knowing what his tomorrow would bring but intentionally lived each day befriending strangers, being a great friend, reaching out to others and touching the hearts of all those around him. He didn’t live as the world expected him to live and walked to his own drum beat never looking back or forward but living present in the day-to-day. The other, knew what her tomorrow would eventually bring, but lived each day befriending strangers, reaching out to others sharing the love of Jesus, touching hearts and mentoring to all those around her. You would have never known she was sick by the energy and light she exhumed. They both lived with others in mind and in turn their lives were full.
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others”
Phillipians 2:3-4 ESV
In between the passing of my nephew and sweet friend I also attended a fund-raising banquet for my children’s school. Our speaker spoke with eloquence the theme from Dead Poets Society of Carpe Diem which means to “Seize the Day. ” We know too well how to seize our today’s with our tomorrows in sight. We all can attest to that. How can we live presently today with our tomorrow in sight? This is where our speaker gave me a new perspective and added Carpe Aeternitatem which means “Seize Eternity.”
I read a devotional the other day through the online Bible Study by Love God Greatly on 1st and 2nd Peter. It really sums up what I feel God is pressing upon my heart and have included it here http://www.lovegodgreatly.com/2015/04/jesus-is-better/. After reading this, I have to ask, “What am I holding on to that I consider more sacred than Christ? What do I need to let go of to actually live?”
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,
2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2 AMP
Our days were never meant to be lived by the schedules and full calendars that direct our minds and paths for our earthly futures. Instead they are to be lived daily intentionally seizing eternity in Christ for our futures. None of the striving we do on earth for our ways and our will is worth it. It’s all meaningless without Christ. What would life look like with eternity as your focus? For me, it’s laying aside my wants and desires and instead picking up the things of Christ. I don’t want to be known by the things considered sacred and sought after here on earth but known instead for the sacredness of Christ living in and through me touching the lives of others. Not mine own will but the will of my Father.
God gave me two amazing people to see that my today is important and to live fully in its presence. We never know what tomorrow will bring, only God does. Leave yesterday there, leave tomorrow alone and live selflessly and intentionally today as if it were your last. How differently life could be!
If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.
John 15:10-13 AMP