"Every man leaves a lasting influence... that will affect future generations for centuries to come. But let's face it, not all legacies are the same. Some are productive, others are destructive. Some are illustrious, others are infamous... what kind of a legacy will you leave behind? A spiritual legacy is one that money can't buy and taxes can't take away, it is passing down to the next generation what matters most."
Steven J. Lawson

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Unwasted Life

One more day, one more year. The Lord has been so good to me and has given me 27 years of life. It seems that as I grow older, the Lord continues to teach me more and more each year. Looking back on the previous year, and where I was last February, I am so thankful for the gift of life, and amazed at all that God has taught me this year. The emotions that I was experiencing last year, the discontent, frustration, and pain have turned into content, joy, and peace, though there are times of discontent with circumstances. It just reinforces the truth that we ought to be people who live by faith NOT by emotions, because emotions come and go, changing almost hourly. Faith, if in Jesus Christ, is the anchor in the storms of life. Jesus is the rock and pillar of our existence.
So, as I have reflected on another year of my life gone by, I have wrestled with regret(should I have any?), and my heart is both sober and thankful at the same time. My heart is broken over the unfaithfulness toward God, and over decisions I have made that wasted so many hours of precious time that I will never get back. My heart aches when I think about God’s love that will not let me go, and how unchanging it is even when I fail to love Him. Sometimes, I wish that sanctification would just be like big bolts of lightning, insteda of a slow constant drip of rain water. My hope is in Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Hallelujah!
I want my life to count for something significant, to have a weighty impact on this world. In the past, I had an overwhelming fear of being forgotten, of never having my name remembered in the annals of history. The problem with this fear is that it is a worldly fear living as if there was nothing or no one to give you significance. Once, I wanted to be a famous writer and have my stories be the next big thing since Harry Potter. How foolish that is! It is a vain ambition to make much of yourself, at the expense of making nothing of Jesus Christ. In time, Harry Potter and all other great works of literature, art, music, etc will be forgotten, and then what? In that last day, will we have chased after something temporal and lost everything, or will we have pursued with all that we have, something eternal and significant? Will we have wasted our lives? Have I wasted what life God has graciously given me? This is the question that I have been asking myself over the last two months. For the past three years, I feel as if my life has been an aimless wandering, trying to figure out what it was I am supposed to be doing with my life. Although I learned some valuable things on the journey, I would say that many of my pursuits have led to wasted time. What I am left with now is the task of redeeming the time that I have left, however long that may be.
Over the Christmas holidays, God awakened in me something that I have never felt before in my journey as a Christian. He opened my eyes to the truth that a life lived in making much of Jesus, in living in the joy that it brings, and of extending that joy into the lives of others is an unwasted life. It is the only way to not waste your life. A life spent in pursuit of anything else is a wasted life. John Piper, in his book Don’t Waste Your Life, says “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” THAT is an unwasted life. When we live in such a way that magnifies Christ and extends the good news of the gospel to others, then we will have lived a life that counts. Our lives will have had an impact that is eternal. Now that is a mission that I can get on board with!