The past few days I have been mulling over a question that was asked.
Now this is similar to a question that I’m sure at some point,
You’ve been asked,
But after I say it,
Stick with me,
“If you knew today was going to be your last,
how would you have lived differently?”
I don’t want your brain to shut off because it sounds similar to,
“If you were going to die tomorrow, how would you live your last day?”
Because to me,
This question is far deeper,
It reaches a part of my heart that craves for more in life.
A craving where I long to not leave anything unsaid,
A goodbye left only on a good note,
And no one to ever question my love or purpose in life.
For through that simple question,
It slowly begins to unravel my life.
Drawing up all my hurts,
The moments I wish I could have taken back,
Or the moments I wish I would have said ‘yes’ too.
It shows me the moments I’ve neglected living because I was dwelling in self-pity,
Or the moments I was selfish and should have loved them better.
That question doesn’t just whisper but speaks boldly,
Asking more from me;
What would you wish you would have done?
How would you have wanted to live?
Would you have given more?
Would you have loved those who you withheld love from?
How would you have lived less out of habit and more out of intention?
Would you have lived wholeheartedly even in hard seasons rather than waiting until life got better?
And more continue to arise,
Probing and stirring a desire,
An unquenchable thirst deep within me,
To begin to live each day differently.
But don’t let those questions shame you,
And burrow you deeper into a hole of depression and anxiety,
Rather let them speak life back into you,
Seeing that there is more right before you,
In the simplicity of your days.
These questions aren’t meant to make you feel guilty for not living,
But rather free you from the chains of needing to be more,
Breathe fresh air back into your weariness,
That just as you are,
In all that you do,
Your life can be a beautiful adventure,
But it’s up to you to choose it.
For that is the thing,
Our culture drills it into us with the boom of social media,
That our lives need to be exceedingly amazing and envious to be worthwhile.
But I’m here to tell you,
That’s a lie.
Our lives are precious,
Regardless if you’re able to travel to every country on the planet
Or whether you’re working a 9-5 job to make ends meat.
It’s just how we choose to fix our focus.
Whether we focus on all that we aren’t and all that they are,
Or all that we have before us and what we’re capable of doing in the ordinary moments of our lives.
For I believe that those moments,
The ones as simple as that first sip of coffee in the morning,
Paying for a coffee for someone else,
Bringing baked goods to your neighbor,
Or helping your brother fix his car,
All those things matter more than you realize.
You see, you don’t need fancy things to live intentionally,
All you need is a willing heart to love those before you,
To no longer let the fear of not being good enough paralyze you,
And rather bask in the precious life you behold.
We can no longer wait,
Expecting that life will hand us our dreams on a silver platter,
That good things will just happen,
Or even dwell on the ‘horrible cards’ that we feel life has dealt us.
Whatever we fix our focus on,
Eventually shapes who we become.
Whether it’s people who fight to see the good,
Or people who allow the challenging, heartbreaking moments harden their hearts.
Whether we accept it or not,
In all honesty,
It all comes down to what we choose.
For horrible things happen in this world,
Things that are not fair,
And I wish we could be protected from it all,
But we can’t,
And they happen,
And it hurts.
It breaks pieces of our hearts,
And from those things we will never be the same.
It’s even in the darkest moments of our life that matters too,
In how we allow ourselves to heal,
Or maybe how we fight that process and hold onto all that bitterness and hurt which shut joy out.
For if we allow the hard moments of life to steal our joy,
It will take all that we will give it.
For a lot in life,
How we go through it,
How we face problems,
How we see the joy,
Happens in our minds.
We either choose, fight and persevere to hold onto hope,
Or we let our hearts fill with hate, pain and hurt which kills us before we’re even dead.
All those things,
For me at least have come from mulling over the simple question.
A question that we sometimes hear and push to the side,
Sometimes because change is hard and to remain where we are,
Whether we’re truly content or not,
The other day when I was asked it,
It stuck with me and I’m hoping it will for you too.
That you won’t just miss this moment to challenge yourself and grow,
But that you will press into it.
For whether I’m walking the dogs,
Or even in the hard moments where Levi and I are still figuring each other out,
Those questions flood in,
Pushing me to live with more intention,
To let go of all that I hold onto and love without bounds,
To not leave Levi on a bad note,
To love those who I find it hard to love,
To not wish this season away because it isn’t what I expected,
To not let bitterness steal joy,
To not let anxiety rob me of living,
Or to miss loving those around me because of fear.
Because the truth is,
There is more to life than just quantity.
And what I mean by that is there is more than just gathering all that we can,
Trying to get all the newest things,
Or be known by lots of people,
Or make a huge impact,
Or speaking to thousands of people,
Or even to having lots of money.
We are in a culture where we never seem to have enough,
And always craving more.
Craving more of the things that will one day fade,
Because nothing is quenching that thirst deep within us to be known,
To be loved,
To be someone worthwhile.
Someone to make it to the headlines,
Or be loved by all.
There is something to quality,
The way we live,
That speaks louder than all we can try to obtain.
For it is in the way we live through the hardest seasons,
The way we love those right before us,
The way we love ourselves and honor the Lord with the precious gifts He has entrusted to us,
Not to all that we wish we had to be known by others,
But simply to be known by Him,
Is far greater than having more.
There is something in seeking first His Kingdom and Righteousness,
Than trying to build our own selves up.
There is something beautiful about living in the simple,
Even mundane moments of each day and basking in His goodness.
In being okay with a quiet life,
One where we allow Him to be glorified,
And others feeling loved.
For when we get in the quantity mindset,
Things slowly start becoming all about us.
And in that,
We lose sight of what really matters,
The way we live and love others.
For in all honesty,
I am bad at that.
I get so caught up in serving the Lord,
Working hard (way too hard),
Where I become worn out,
And rather than loving those around me,
Push past them to keep ‘serving’,
And in it,
Miss the mark.
I am so thankful for His grace,
And that His ways are far greater than mine.
So how does all this come together?
It means that how we live,
Matters the most.
And you may already know that,
But my challenge for you is to allow the Lord to search your heart,
To bring to surface the areas which you still hold your own self in higher regard than Him,
The places where you secretly crave control over,
Or the areas where you still try to feed your ego.
For that is the beautiful thing about questions that prob you,
They bring you to realizations,
Ones that show you how much we are in need of a Savior.
For although on the outside we may look all put together,
He knows our hearts,
He sees us as we truly are,
And loves us deeply,
Even when what’s in us isn’t as nicely put together as we’re trying to seem on the outside.
How beautiful is that?
How sweet is the name of Jesus,
The One who sees us as we are,
And calls us to come into His Kingdom,
To live knowing that we are loved,
No longer needing the approval of the world to fill those desires.
It blows me away that a person like me,
Could be loved by the Creator of the Universe,
And in that,
It continues to push me to live a life laid down for Him,
Continuing to allowing myself to be picked up when I stumble,
Allowing myself to be pruned even when I would rather stay as I am,
And rather than staying complacent in life,
Allowing His Truth to strip the pieces of me that I’ve been holding onto for far too long which have kept me from living wholeheartedly.
So let me ask you a question my friend,
If you knew you could live each day with quality,
Each day wholeheartedly,
Loving those around you deeply,
What would you need to change to do so?
How would you begin?
What little step would you take today?
You my friend are loved,
And with your life,
Wherever you may be,
Can be used as apart of His beautiful love story.
Join in it.
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139: 23-24
“Test me, Lord, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;
for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.”