Live Like We’re Alive

We call it life, which conjures up visions of birth, growth, freshness, and passion.  But it also includes death, sickness, dirt, and sin.  So how do we live our days?   It’s a question I constantly mull over, and one for which I most often I find a need for an internal pep talk.  My answer is simple…we live like we are alive.

It is easy to live aimlessly and without passion.  That seems to be the place our body takes us if we aren’t deliberate with our actions.  Well, I guess I can’t speak for you, but it’s that way for me.  OK, maybe I can speak for some of you…..because I see how you live.  You walk through life disengaged, and feeling sorry for yourself.  You go through the motions and the motions are meaningless.  You sometimes interact with people, but your presence in their life pulls them down, doesn’t encourage them to be all they can be.  Doesn’t challenge them to live life well.   Doesn’t help them enjoy each day.  Distracts them from seeing God.   Your whole countenance is one of condemnation and self-pride.  On other days, you don’t see other people at all.  You just see yourself.

And I’m not condemning  just you when I say this.  I’m looking in the mirror.  I suspect that for a lot of us, this is our tendency and probably our major area of sin.  We take life on this earth for granted, and don’t see it as part of our eternity.  We forget we are here for each other and forget that we have responsibilities that shouldn’t be burdens, but should instead give us wings and fulfillment and purpose.

Those who know me know that I try to avoid theology.  It just sounds dull, doesn’t it?  But a few friends have pointed out over the years that I am actually more passionate about it that I would like to think.  They start to bait me with issues, and I find that yeah, I am quite opinionated about it after all.  While “theology” sounds cold and dull, if you define it as discovering who God is and why He says what He says and does what He does, it becomes the truly amazing act of getting to know a living, breathing being…..a person.  One who is consistent, wise, caring, and a great creator and inventor who makes sense.  And that does interest me…. more than anything else.  I like that God stresses we have to have a personal relationship with Him.  And that we can.  We don’t have to be able to use the big words, win the scripture memorization contest, or get in deep theological discussions with deep theological people.  We don’t have to take the opinions of the more educated or those of the more outwardly spiritual as our own.  We can intimately know the person of God just as we are, because He is speaking to us directly every day.  We just need to shut up, tune in and listen.  He created our minds to know him….even those of us with simple minds.  I think one day some people are going to find out they over-thought the nuances and missed out on knowing the person.   Those who know the big words and spend the most time memorizing the Greek, don’t necessarily win, just as those with the most money don’t always have the happiest lives! 

When I was growing up they tried to teach us the Westminster Shorter Catechism.  As with most things that require an attention span, I never quite learned the whole thing.  But I did learn the first question and answer. Q:  “What is the chief end of man”  A: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  Gee, I may have already mentioned this in a blog before.  And probably will again.  Like I said, it was the only one I remember and I tend to think on this a lot because it is my bedrock.  It is my  checkpoint…..”So today, Kim, are you glorifying God?  Are you enjoying Him?” 

Life should be about discovering more about who God is, and I just don’t think you can do it in a pristine world.  Because that isn’t the world we were given.  In case you haven’t noticed, this world around us just isn’t pristine.  How can you identify God if you also can’t identify godlessness?  And at least for me, I discover that definition changes all the time.  Because I don’t get it all yet.  Figuring it out is a work in process.

I’m mystified by monks.  That whole idea that to discover God you cut yourself off from the world and just try to commune only with Him.  I know many Christians who, while they would never describe their lives as monk-like, live in such an insulated world where they effectively have done this to themselves.  They’re pure, but if purity was something we could accomplish on our own, Jesus did nothing.  Yes, I know we are supposed to be “in the world, but not of the world.”  But we are supposed to bring light to darkness, and be salt to the world.  Sometimes soothing, sometimes blinding.  Sometimes tasty, sometimes causing pain to the wound as it heals.  We’re supposed to get our hands dirty and get involved in what’s going on around us.  People can be distracting and annoying and frustrating, but we are commanded to love and serve them.  How do we do this if we don’t get to know people and attempt to understand them?  And how do we really know God, if we don’t try to get to know His creation and instead stand back, repelled with what we think we are seeing?  God is still in there somewhere.  We need to find Him, and sometimes we need to let Him infuse our bodies and use us.

A confession. There are some people who call themselves Christians that I just plain don’t want to be with for eternity.  I would actually call being around them for eternity hell.  I know this because I call five minutes on this earth with them hell.  God knows that, we have had quite a few conversations about that, and it’s an area in which I have decided to just trust Him.  My own thought is that if they are that repellant to me, they don’t really know the God I serve.  I hope He reveals himself to them….I hope they change.  Or if it is me that should change, I hope I am given the knowledge, power, grace and will to do so.  But for now, I plan to avoid those people as much as possible.  There are too many very, very amazing creations out there with whom I would prefer to spend my time.  Some who are really imperfect specimens of God’s creation on the surface, but glorious wonderment underneath.   Discovering this helps me know God.  And helps make me enjoy God now, forever.  This is the life I celebrate, today as I am alive.

(And my sweet friend Claire, I celebrate your life today, too!  You were life personified.)

Psalm 100 (KJV)
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Lyrics to "Live Like We're Alive" by Nevertheless
They say we can’t make it through 
too young; don’t know what to do.
This life is much too hard for you and me.
They say we’re living in our dreams
black, white, and nothing in between.
This world is never as it seems to be.
But they don’t want this
and they don’t feel this
but this was never theirs at all!

So here I stand.
I’m ready for anything.
Just a man, but I’m giving everything.
We’re here only for a second
and then we’re gone when we least expect it.
So do more than survive.
Let’s live like we’re alive!

They say, “Stay inside the lines we’ve drawn
and you will be just fine. Don’t take chances
with your life. C’mon.” But they don’t want this,
and they don’t feel this, but this was never theirs at all!

So here I stand.
I’m ready for anything.
Just a man, but I’m giving everything.
We’re here only for a second
and then we’re gone when we least expect it.
So do more than survive.
Let’s live like we’re alive!

This world, we’ve gotta let it go.
This life is out of our control.

So here I stand. I’m ready for anything.
Just a man, but I’m giving everything.
We’re here only for a second
and then we’re gone when we least expect it.
So do more than survive. Let’s live like we’re alive!

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