DayBreaks for 11/03/16 – Many Ways to Lose Your Life
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2006:
I try to get into the gym 5 times a week to exercise. I must confess that many days I really don’t want to go in there and exercise. But I do – primarily because if I don’t, my cardiologist will read me the riot act. And it helps create the illusion, too, that by exercising, I will live healthy and well forever. I know that’s an illusion, but it’s one that I like to hold close to my heart!
Part of my routine is riding the exercise bike. B-O-R-I-N-G. Sure, there are TV’s to watch if you’re so inclined, but I find my time is much better spent if I read something. Sometimes, it’s a sports or outdoors magazine, sometimes it’s a book that I’m interested in. Just recently, I was reading Outdoor magazine and they had an article about world-class mountain climbers. They were recalling some of their harrowing moments on the side of mountains like McKinley, Everest, K2, etc. One comment that was made by the wife of a climber who had died on Everest really struck me. She said, “There are many ways to lose your life besides dying.” In her case, she meant that her husband would have “died” if he’d not been able to climb mountains – to do the thing he so loved.
We live in fear of dying. We decorate caskets with favorite sports team logos, line them with satin as if they were a jewelry box for holding diamonds. Our fears can cause us to never take any more risk than is absolutely necessary: we can stay inside, never drive, never ride in a vehicle, never fly, never eat any food that we’d not grown organically ourselves, etc. But that wouldn’t be much of a life, would it?
Jesus said that he’d come to give us “life – an abundant life” – one that overflows. We often think that Jesus came to bring us salvation – and that is true. He did come for that. But he also came so we could have abundant life. He doesn’t just save us from eternal torment in hell, but he also saves us from living wasted lives. What if you worked hard your entire life and when you get to the end you discover, as you lay in your room gazing at the things that surround you, that you’re not very happy with what you have and did with your life? Jesus doesn’t want that to happen to us. When we get to the end of this life, he wants us to be of the mindset that we’re grateful for the life we’ve had to live, a life we can look back on and see was well-lived, but mostly to have the attitude of: “It’s been a great ride so far, Jesus. Now, let the REAL adventure begin!”
If you feel that you’re living a wasted life – one devoid of meaning – I don’t think you’re living the Jesus-life. All you have to do is read the New Testament and you’ll see that his life and the lives of his disciples were anything but wasted, dull, boring and meaningless. It was in serving God, and people, that they found joy, and that’s where we’ll find it, too. There are many ways to lose your life, but only one way to find it!
PRAYER: God, we long for the fully abundant life you have offered to us. Help us put everything else aside that slows us down or distracts us from running full-speed into the adventure of eternity with You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.