Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com

Life: how should we live it? 

Losing a lot of dear ones in the past few months turned me into the contemplative person that I have become. In a span of three months, I have lost a first cousin who left behind his wife and two little children; Racheal, my mother-in-law, after her long struggle with Alzheimer’s, and then just very recently,  a dear high school classmate, who only about a year ago, I had dinner with, and watched playing pool with my son. These died quietly and without the publicity that personalities like Farah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and without warning, my youngest brother!  And yet in one accord they have made me realized how fragile life is!  I still have the text messages from my cousin telling me how he started going to church with his Mom.  And now, where had he gone? Mulling these deaths in my head, I have realized a few things about life. The first lesson is…

LIFE IS SHORT: As I reflected on the fact that I too will soon hit my 50th birthday, and remembering how the Bible says, “The length of our days is seventy years--or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” Psalm 90:10. I know that even if I get to live up to eighty, it means I have merely 30 years left for me!! The Psalmist certainly understood this when he wrote, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath.” Psalm 39:5. Knowing life is short, how then should we live our lives? 

LIFE IS SHORT, CHERISH IT. I used to hesitate to buy myself an expensive piece of jewelry, because I was certain I’d lose it.  However, when my husband gave me an expensive jewelry, I have learned to be extra careful in making sure I don’t lose it. I delight in wearing it, taking care that I don’t lose it, cherishing it as a token of his love and appreciating the careful thought he had applied into choosing it.  

In the same way, we should treat life as a precious gift given by our Creator God. And the best way I know how to cherish it is by taking care of the one and only packaging it came with: our bodies. So think twice before you stuff your bodies with those greasy fries, and before lighting another cigarette. Instead, shed those extra pounds, eat more veggies and fruit, and less processed foods, sleep well, quit smoking and drink moderately. Enough said. As a famous Tagalog saying goes, “Aanhin pa ang damo, pag patay na ang kabayo?” (What use is the hay, if the horse is dead?). When we abuse our bodies, and lose our health, there is not much we can do to realize our dreams, help those around us and enjoy a life of adventure, which brings me to the next lesson about life.

LIFE IS SHORT, MAXIMIZE IT. Each new day is yet another day to savor and enjoy. It means another day to be with my husband, another day to take care of, and enjoy my son, hear my parents’ voices on the phone one more time, watch another sunset, play catch with Olie our dog, and to do and enjoy the hundred and one things I enjoy doing and experiencing  yet another day. That is why, my life motto is: “Carpe Diem! Seize the day! Live it to the hilt!”  John Burroughs, American Naturalist and Essayist echoes my sympathies exactly when He penned:  “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.”  So, go ahead! Take that vacation you’ve been meaning to take the last few years but have always been too guilty to spend money on. Learn new things, visit new places, make new friends and cherish old ones. Take time to smell l the flowers as they say, count the stars, and enjoy each moment you spend with those you love. Tomorrow’s never been promised to us, all we have  for sure is the now, so live it up!

LIFE IS SHORT, MAKE IT COUNT. Make it count for God. God created us and allowed us to live for a purpose – His purpose. The Westminster Shorter Catechism explains it so succinctly by saying:  “The chief end of men is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” The Bible also says, “And whatever you do in word or in deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. “ Colossians 3:17. I believe our first and foremost preoccupation should be to seek Him, get to know Him and live our lives in a way that will please and glorify Him. 

Many make the mistake of pursuing their own happiness by amassing wealth and fame. However, apart from god, you may have it all and still be feeling empty. Saint Augustine said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself Oh God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” Once you find God and start living for Him, you will begin to find yourself becoming who He has wanted you to be all along, and doing what you have never imagined you’d be doing. God meant for us to live an abundant life, a life that is full and meaningful. Christ said, “I have come that you might have life and might have it abundantly.”  Our sins hinder us from experiencing God’s forgiveness and the abundant life he has promised. However, when we place our trust in Christ, by accepting Him into our lives as our Savior (“But as many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His Name.” John 1:12), He restores our relationship with God, which allows us to experience His love, forgiveness and plan for our lives in a personal way. 

Life is short. Let’s cherish each day and live it to the hilt, but at the same time taking care that we live it according to God’s purpose.  

God is looking for ordinary people empowered by Him to do extra-ordinary things!  – Unknown

Written by Esmie Newman, November, 2009

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