Sunday, September 12, 2010

This thing called LIFE.

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?


  1. Thanks for the post, Lindsay! I think you're right on, especially with the waiting for life to start part.
    I agree that we should be making the most out of every opportunity. Instead of wondering why we're not somewhere else, figure out how we can serve God where we are. So sweet! Let's do it!

  2. Spot on indeed! yeah, i think we get distracted and caught up in temporary satisfactions and tasks, while time flies by. that's something i've been thinking a bit about as well. i think that if we spend too much time wishing for settling down into our long-term calling and having a family, we'll overlook our opportunities now. and when we reach that point in our future we'll look back and see that we could've been more focused on serving God and "living life to the fullest" in this time now.
    yeah, i think we all struggle with that. let's encourage each other to really live for God!! :)

    one practical thing we can do is limit our commitments and keep ourselves from being too busy. i know that in grad school it's really easy for me to fill up my time with "good" things. but then it's harder to be free to serve God in any spontaneous opportunity He might bring my way. and it's also more difficult to spend time with Him.

  3. I like what you said about how life is a series of mountain peaks and valleys...and that the valleys aren't always bad, just normal.

    You know, my principal said something today that really made me pause and think. She said, "In nearly any situation we can find something to feel sorry for ourselves about. But that really leaves us powerless and isn't at all helpful. What we need to do is just to get going and do the best we can with what we have." (or something to that effect) ;-)

    so, bring on the beautiful mundane! : ) And may we rejoice and not complain when we find ourselves truding up and down the mountains!

  4. This is a great topic, Lindsay. I'm glad you brought it up and I agree with everything that has been said so far.

    There are many things that I could say and that I want to say, but for the sake of time--it's past my bedtime--and for y'all's sake, I will forego the set-up and get straight to the point.

    On the topic of dwelling on the past and letting it cloud our present choices and future visions, I am reminded of a quote I once heard: do not let your luggage define your destination.

    This really hits home for me and I just wanted to share it. I could easily wallow in self pity and make bad choices and blame my past, but I am called to live life seeking God. And if I do that, I should seek light, love and hope, not darkness.