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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't Waste Your Life

I don't remember who spoke at my high school graduation, but all these years later I do remember her opening line:

"You've already lived one quarter of your life."

This was powerful stuff for an eighteen year old. As I've thought back on her talk through the years, I am grateful that she pointed my attention to be careful, not to waste life, while I was still young.

Life IS very short, isn't it? When you're 18, it seems like it will last forever, but by the time you're 28 you've already made some pivotal decisions of the direction your life will go (marriage, career, family, location) and by the time you're 38 these decisions are even more entrenched. And so on. Yes, you can always alter your path, but it gets progressively harder.

And no matter what you do, the past years are already gone.

You feel the touch of the mortal hand: bodies age, people die, disappointments multiply, safeguards fail. Life is not limitless as it is when you're 18. More and more potentials become actualities as you build the legacy you will leave, stone by stone.

What legacy will you leave? Sweetness or bitter? Gratitude or anger? Emphasis on others or yourself?

You've heard this one before, but what would you do if you only had a day/week/month to live? Would you change your focus for these last hours or days, or would you more or less do what you're doing now? Do you think it's important if you'd change your focus? What is your guiding principle in life?

Will you choose to follow God? I believe this life is the only place you can freely make this decision, and also that this is the most important question of all.

Ponder these things. In the meantime, let me make the statement that the woman made to our high school class:


Make your life count. Build your legacy, whether it is to play with your children, be with your family, or do your job that will make life better for many. Design that computer program, start your dream business, paint your masterpiece. Love and bless others. Search for truth. Search for God.

Play a song for me, my dear friends. I won't hear it now, but I will smile because I know it's beautiful.

And I will see you at the Gate.


Travis said...

I have a friend named David who likes to tell people something on their birthday. If the person turns 50, he points out to them that they are closer to 100 than their own birth. The way he does it is funny and enjoyable, and everyone laughs. But, he's right.

I told my dad the other day that he was now closer to 130 than his birth and he commented that he's going to shoot for 260! I like that attitude. When I consider that I only have 12 years before I retire, I'm sobered into thinking very strategically about the time I have left.

Good post.

Karen said...

Amy, this post reminded me of the aha moment I experienced 2 1/2 year ago when our nest emptied (albeit temporarily). I started thinking of the song "Time in a Bottle." Then I got busy praying and examining my life to see what God wanted to do with me next. He led me back to something I'd always loved but never pursued seriously--writing.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Glad you enjoyed the text message transcript. What a hoot! See you at TWV2.