I was walking along the warm Florida beach last Monday. It was a beautiful day and being in such a warm place while at home was -20 degrees outside was very refreshing. As I walked along I made footprints. There is something about footprints in the sand that has captivated me for a long time. Something so seemingly elegant of a path that shows where you came from and where you are going. I was disapointed when the footprints were soon washed away by the tide.
It got me thinking if I was making the footprint of my life on sand or cement. As lovely as footprints in the sand may be, they fade quickly. They are there one moment and gone the next with the ever changing tide. Footprints in cement however last for (almost) forever. They make a lasting impression so that even when the cement is dry (especially when it’s dry) they still last.
Is my life a lasting impression? Will there be signs that I ever touched this world? Am I doing things that will last beyond my own life and change the lives of others? Is what I am doing everyday making an impact on the kingdom of God or eternity?
Far too often the answer is no. My footprints are only made in the sand… and someday they will be no more. But by God’s grace, hopefully I am leaving more and more footprints in cement. Those that will make a change. I pray that somehow, even in a little way, I can touch this world. I can leave an impression that is not gone once I die but will make a true difference in this world.
That is one of my prayers for this new year. I want to make sure that my life counts. That can only happen with the help of the Lord because I possess nothing in myself that can make my life count, but through God I can make a difference and leave a legacy. Leaving a legacy is something that most teenagers do not talk about, but life is a passing vapor, and soon we will all be gone.
“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” James 4:14b
Well this last Thursday (the 25th of September) something horridly scary happened… my brother Sam turned 18. I told him he wasn’t allowed to become an adult, but he just didn’t listen. It seems so strange that my longtime friend, victim of my childish mischief (I was very mischievous as a little girl), playmate, tickler, confider, music mentor, and chauffeur among other things is all grown up. And next year the sad day will come when he will move on to college. Time sure flies, even when it’s not all fun.
Having Sam turn 18 is sort of a reminder that life is short. One minute you are making up imaginary sci-fi worlds and the next you are driving around to go Christmas shopping together. Then it will be him going to college, then marriage (weird), then kids (YAY! I want to be an aunt!). Then eventually our time together will be all gone. Life moves on so fast and all we can do is enjoy it and use every minute of it for something that has purpose. I don’t know how much time I have left with Sam, or with anyone else for that matter. So I will live today drawing all the joy and purpose I can from life, and hopefully using it to serve my savior, though I fail miserably at times. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. So live like it.
DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE
This is not a challenge for the timid, the cowards, the lazy, the bums. This is a challenge for the brave, the strong, the noble, the hard workers, the radical fanatics. So which will you be? I can’t make that choice for you. Only you can choose whether you want to give God your all and live a life with a meaning to it. Or you can live a life that has no meaning, a life without purpose. Which sounds more exciting? More profitable? More enjoyable, yet harder at the same time? For me to not waste my life is my choice. Will it be yours? I hope and pray that it will be. I don’t want you to look back on your life and say, “I’ve wasted it”. That would be worse than just a pity.
So, will you take the road less traveled, one that has bumps on it? A rough road but a road that leads to true fulfillment? Or a road that is often used? A road that is smooth, but in the end leads to pain and death? A road that when you come to the end realize that you did it all for nothing? As my brother would say, “I don’t want to live if there is nothing to die for”. I agree.
There is something worth dying for. That is the gospel. The unwasted life is one focused on the gospel and sharing it and doing God’s will. No matter if you do good things, without God with you they will all fade away. They are vain and fleeting. They come and go and no one will ever care. But when we do things to glorify God and do things for him, or life is full. It is not wasted. It has purpose, we can go back to the original purpose of man, to glorify God. The original purpose of man is beyond our comprehension because it was perfect. An unwasted life is one that seeks to go back to that purpose.
So to repeat my challenge here it is in different wording: “Live everyday like it is your last. With meaning, with purpose, and with joy.” Let me know if you take me up on this challenge. I will pray for you. I know some of you have already taken this challenge upon your shoulders. Please share a comment on how this has changed you and the results of this in your life. I am praying for all of you.
In Christ alone,