DayBreaks for 5/22/18: A Premature Death
From the DayBreaks archive, May 2008:
How long do you expect to live? Chances are, your answer will depend largely on how old you are right now. The younger you are, the longer you expect to live. It makes sense – but it isn’t always true.
There are many ways to die: asphyxiation, heart attack, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s, poison, accident, drowning, failure of a parachute to open, shark attack, etc. The list is endless. But there are other ways to die, too, that don’t come to mind as regularly, and perhaps they are equally, or more, tragic than some of those mentioned.
Vietzslav Gardavsky, a Czech philosopher and martyr who died in 1978, wrote a book titled God Is Not Yet Dead, in which he wrote about this topic. The terrible threat against our lives is not death, pain, nor any one of the myriad types of disasters that we frantically try to protect ourselves against. The terrible threat, as Gardavsky put it, is “that we might die earlier than we really do die, before death has become a natural necessity. The real horror lies in just such a premature death, a death after which we go on living for many years.”
We can become so paranoid about life and death and health and illness that we “die” prematurely. It is easier to stop taking any risk (spiritually) and become a spiritual parasite that contributes nothing to the kingdom of God than it is to live fully as a human made in His image, committed to obedience and to live on the ragged edge of faith. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that I’ve yet achieved that kind of total abandonment to God’s calling. As Eugene Peterson put it in Run With the Horses, “It is easier to relax in the embracing arms of The Average. Easier, but not better. Easier, but not more significant. Easier, but not more fulfilling.”
Look back at your life with and for Christ this past year. Have you been resting in the “embracing arms of The Average”? If so, you’ve died prematurely. Jesus can give you new life!
PRAYER: Lord, we settle for settling. We settle for mediocre. We are afraid to live lives of reckless abandonment to the leading of Your Spirit. Help us not to be entranced with being average and safe. Lead us to life abundant! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.