Find A Way To Truly Live

After a conversation with a church member about the possibility of forming a grief support group at our church, I've been contemplating some things. 

The first thing I have been mulling is that none of us get out of life alive.   

There's no bonus round for good behavior, and no amount of riches can buy one for you.  When it's your time to depart from this earthly reality, you will go.  

If you're lucky, the end will come at a ripe old age, and you'll get to drift away peacefully.  

At one of my former churches, one of the members in his late 80s passed away on Christmas Day after eating a wonderful meal, surrounded by his family, and stretched out on the couch watching football.  

Sign me up for that. 

But there are times when we are struck by the fact that death can come for people much younger, some in the seeming prime of their lives.  It's a hard thing to fathom, but it's also part of the frailty of our very existence.  

So there's that bit of morbidity to start your day off right.  

In all seriousness, every single one of us contemplates our mortality in one way or another.  I'm learning that it takes the dread away to think about it. 

I also started contemplating how few of us really live with the lives that we have been given.  We know it will all end, but we live without the urgency and the joy that comes from knowing that our time on earth is short. 

I'm not advocating that we should start scheduling adrenaline-fueled activities for every single day. In fact, that might speed up our whole mortality timeline. 

I am saying that we ought to make the most of every day.  To live with a sense of gratitude and joy.  We should let ourselves wander a bit from time to time and see where our wandering leads.  

And the people who give us life to be with, the ones we love and care about... we should spend more time in their company.  

Professor of philosophy John Kaag had this wonderful line in one of his recent books: 

We all will spin off this mortal coil soon enough.  The task is to find a way to live, truly live, in the interim.  

Here's the dramatic twist in all of this for those of us who believe in God and who choose to trust that God has purposes for what God creates:  God delights when we delight in the life we've been given.   

You might wonder how I know this and what empirical evidence I have to support that claim.  I could show you Scripture that expresses this notion of God's delight, or I could just tell you what I feel. 

I FEEL GOD'S PLEASURE when I am truly living my life, doing what I am meant to do, embracing the world in joy, and spending my time on earth pursuing what makes my heart sing.  

It's the kind of feeling that you never forget.  

May we all pursue that joyous feeling of the delight of God as we find our way to truly live.  May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us now and always. Amen.  


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