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One Life

What if all you had was $100 to feed a family of four for two weeks?  You could choose to spend that money however you wanted, but it's all you have for for food for the entire two weeks.

You could choose to go out to eat at a nice restaurant with that amount of money,  thinking you deserve it.  Yes, a break from cooking and cleaning up sounds really good. The kids would love you when you say, "Hey, get whatever you want on the menu!  There are no limits today!"   Chances are, you wouldn't have much left for the remainder of the 2 weeks. In the end, the wanton spending would leave you and your family impoverished and hungry.

Or you could carefully take stock of the resources you have, and  plan out how to make the most of the $100 over the 2 week period of time.  Your family would be thankful and happy with this choice, no doubt, as  there is enough to go around and no one goes hungry.  You would have creatively and  intentionally made the most of what you had.

Sometimes I think we approach life as though we have unlimited days.  It's easy to choose to spend our days how we want to, even wasting time if we choose to.  And when it comes to choices on how to spend our time, we have the luxury of choosing good over best because we can get to the best at some other time in life when we feel like it. Or, we might not even realize what is the best because we've been numbed by the illusion that we have an abundance of days and time.

As part of my job, I supervise students in an oncology clinical setting.  Oncology is where people with cancer are treated.  Occasionally, one of the patient's will open up about what he or she has learned from having cancer.  More often than not, the learnings and new perspective on life have to do with seeing in a new way the value of each day.  How each day is such a gift.  And with each day, learning to make the most of the things that are truly important in life.  With the diagnosis of cancer, each day, each moment, has become extraordinarily precious in part because time is now viewed in the context of a limited number of days. Most people, in that situation, choose to spend each day embracing what they view as most valuable and important.

I don't think we have to be struck with a terminal disease in order to learn to appreciate fully each day.  I do think a careful analysis of our life is required, taking time to evaluate what is important to us, and committing to pursuing those things wholeheartedly and intentionally.  I try, most days, to start the day with gratitude for a new day and a recognition that I need help from above in living this I've been given to the fullest.

Paul says it like this:  "Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.  Don't be impressed with yourself.  Don't compare yourself with others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life." (Galatians 6)

That's a lot of good wisdom and advice to live by. We've been given one life to live.  Let's make the most of each day, doing the creative best we can.  And may we each be blessed with an ability to see what truly matters.


5 comments:

  1. I think the reason so many people find themselves in a mid life crises is because they finally come face to face with the realization that their days are limited. I was in my early forties when I became aware that I had possibly already lived half of my life and I began to reflect about what I had done with it and how I wanted to change the latter half. And so I have begun to thank God that he is performing the following verse in me and my husband’s lives.

    The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. Haggai 2:9

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    1. Aleta, great verse to live by! I agree that getting older is an invitation to face our own mortality in a whole new way. I know I have and I treasure each day much more than I used to.

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  2. The older I get, the more aware I am about the limited time we have on earth and how fast time goes. I just read a quote that said..."Enjoy life, this is not a dress rehersal". Made me realize how thankful I am that this is not all there is and that this life is preparing me for eternity.

    However, it does makes me question what would happen or how things would change in our lives and our way of thinking, if we truely understood, and lived like we believed what God saids? Such as, Phil. 4;19, "My God has supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus", or Jer, 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you....", there are so many I could go on and on. Maybe what it all boils down too is being a good steward with what we've been given and that is so much more than just our money!

    Love your messages, Tracy!! Challenaging and thought provoking!! =)

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    1. Kathy, thanks for adding great thoughts to the conversation! And, thanks for the encouragement :)

      I love that quote, "Enjoy life, this is not a dress rehearsal"... wow, there's alot to be unpacked there!

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    2. Feel free to take it and run with it!!! =)

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