I feel like I’ve been learning quite a bit about the nature of life in these past few weeks. Granted, all I’m able to share are observations, not answers, but I wanted to process what I’ve observed a bit, thus this blog post should help to do that. And I’ll admit, I’d like to hear your thoughts too. I mean, we are all in this pretty awesome thing called “life” together, yes?
“Waiting for life to start…”
I was babysitting last week and the kids were watching the Sound of Music (one of my favorite movies!). Of course, we watched the “I am 16 going on 17” scene with Leslie and Rolf. The part where Rolf sings “waiting for life to start” caught my mind. I had felt like after coming home from the Institute this summer, I was waiting for my life to start. It was the same feeling I experienced after leaving JBU and returning home after graduation. Life would start when I got a job, was on my own, married and started a family, and a number of other “grown up” things. Needless to say, I was getting a little bit frustrated being home, just waiting for life to start. However, the more I dwelled on that phrase sung by Rolf, the more I realized that it wasn’t true. Life has already started. I don’t need to wait for it. The more humbling thought that followed is that life doesn’t wait for us either and if I don’t start living, I’m gonna miss a lot of great opportunities to live.
So, what is this thing called life?
Before sending us off after the FLI graduation, two of our professors, the Lees, talked about life and what it is—a series of mountains and valleys. They reminded us that most of life occurs as we live in the valleys. We will have mountaintop moments and we should remember and celebrate those moments, but we also have to move on. We can’t live on the mountaintop forever. God calls us work among the people who live on this earth. I’m learning that the valleys are not always of “the shadow of death”. They can be mundane at times, but that’s life and, in a way, it’s a sort of beautiful mundane.
Life is a choice.
All this thinking about life brings to mind a verse that my high school teacher was passionate about—Deuteronomy 30:19. “I have set before you life and death… therefore, choose life so that you and your children may live.” Life is a choice; one that we must make everyday. And what is the life being described in this verse? In this context, life is loving the Lord and obeying Him with your whole heart. At first this sounds like such a “Christian” answer, but stop and think about it. It’s so true! Loving God and obeying Him brings such freedom. Freedom that frees us to truly live life to the fullest!! Isn’t that awesome?!? The only catch is we gotta choose to obey and to love Him and that’s not always a natural thing to do. At least, that’s been my experience. Sometimes, I have to work really hard at choosing life. But I know the times where I have followed and obeyed Him have been so full of satisfying life. Isn’t He so good to us?
So, summary of observations: 1) we don’t need to wait for life to start, it already started a long time ago, 2) life is a series of mountains and valleys and most of life happens in the valleys, and 3) we have to choose to live. Well, there you have it, that’s what been going through my mind as of late. Now, I want to pose a question to you: what are your thoughts on this incredible topic of life?