There’s this lovely little elderly lady who I see almost every day getting on and off my bus. She looks so sweet; in a pale pink coat down to her knees. Soft grey-blonde hair perfectly pinned up. A typical sweet old lady you may think. Yet her shoulders are so completely hunched so that she literally faces down to the floor.
I watch her and think. I wonder about the kind of life she used to lead. Perhaps long ago she was a dancer or athlete. Maybe an artist, a mother, a teacher, who knows? Perhaps on the inside she is still bubbling with life and vitality, but restricted now by her earthly body. And I wonder some more. How does she pin her hair so perfectly each day? Does she have family or people who care for her?
And then I wonder further. Am I really living now? Me, sat on this bus, listening to music or trying to put on my mascara without jabbing myself in the eye. Am I making the most of every breath, of every moment, of every day that I have in my currently rather strong and healthy body? Am I grateful enough that I can walk upright and see life in all its beauty?
Now, I do struggle with my health, and with my body. Sometimes I could scream with frustration as my desire to do all that God has called me to do and my heart and passion for life has a full on, out right battle with my body, just wanting to lie down and rest.
And I wonder is this how people feel as they get older and their body starts to fail them? Do they still feel like a child or teen trapped in the body of an older lady or man? Now please don’t get me wrong; I know that elderly people can be living life to the full. I know an 83 year old lady who when it snowed over Christmas jumped right on to a sledge.
But there is just so much isn’t there that can stop us ‘living now’!? Debt, worry, age, infirmity, business, work, travel, kids, cleaning, admin, life, life, life. Sometimes life itself and the daily grind can limit the way we truly live.
And what is ‘living now’. Is it travelling around the world, bungee jumping, perfecting our studies, marital bliss, earning millions, finding the perfect job, being the perfect person, fame, power, or more? How do we know when we are truly ‘living now’?
My friend showed me a video yesterday that is really powerful.
It got me thinking once again about the rapidity and fragility of life.
“How much time have you spent worrying instead of doing what you love? What if you only had one more day? What are you going to do today?”
From when I was young and my half-brother committed suicide, I felt like I understood the delicacy of life as well as most people. I had times, when life was certainly fragile, certainly on a thread. When I was in a serious car accident a few years ago I thought of nothing but death for days (morbid but honest).
Until I became a Christian and felt safe in eternity (and even sometimes afterwards) the thought of death used to terrify me. Only the other night I lay awake thinking of the forever nothing, the darkness, the ‘no more’ and had to remind myself of the eternity, the light, the Lord, the forever worship.
Yet even with an eternal future secured, surely we must be living now. Today.
John 10:10 Amplified Bible says:
10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
The Message Bible describes it as “real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
What does this real, full, overflowing, life of yours that you dream of look like?
I know as well as anyone that life isn’t all you always hope or dream it will be. But our lives are intended for His glory.
Yesterday I attended a vision day for an amazing online community of people striving for Jesus (dltcommunity.com/). My friend Luke spoke about Ephesians 1 and highlighted v11-12 (emphasis mine):
11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
Luke spoke of how society calls us to be popular, rich, have as many followers as possible, the ‘perfect life’. But Ephesians tells us that it is in Christ alone that we find out who we are, and what we are living for so we can be living now. So we can have glorious living.
What are you living for? What defines you currently? This very day what do you get out of bed for? What are you putting your time, energy, money, heart and life into? What are you living now for?
There is an amazing ‘Mumford and Sons song lyric’ – “Where you invest your love, you invest your life”.
Where do you invest your love?
The busier I get, when I’ve been feeling really unwell and lay in bed all day watching Netflix, and as I get older I find I am challenged by this more and more. Where am I investing my precious time and love and life?
I would say I have a few main passions.
-I am passionate about justice. I long to see the slaves of today set free, the hungry fed, the captives in every sense of the word released, the vulnerable protected and cared for, lives saved, equality for all, and a better world (quite a big ask).
-I am passionate about family. I am passionate about my family but also the church and beyond embracing loving fellowship. And above all, those without family; orphans, widows, those in the care system, the lonely or the lost, set in families.
Psalm 68:6 NLT- God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
– I am passionate about seeing broken shattered hearts and lives fully and completely restored by Jesus.
-I am passionate about Jesus and seeing more people saved by his unending grace and love. I believe in a God who can see my passions fulfilled because my heart breaks for what breaks His.
What are you passionate about? What can you invest more of your life in today? Let’s try and do away with the irrelevant, the worry, the time wasting, and the mundane and invest our love and time in the things that matter most.
You lead the way, God You’re right beside me
In Your love I’m complete
There’s nothing like living with You
This life You created I choose
See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turn to colour all around
All is new, in the Saviour I am found
This is living now
– ‘This is Living Now’ Hillsong Young and Free