“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
Our family loves listening to a new song by Toby Mac. It’s played on our local Christian station often but we also have the CD we can put in anytime we need a reminder. It talks about how this life that God gave us isn’t a test, but instead this is the real deal. What we choose to do (or not do) matters, because God gave us this life to use for His glory.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I used to say, “someday I’ll do this or I’ll do that.” I also take the stance a lot that if I don’t get to do all the things here on this earth that I want to, it’s okay because I can then do them when I live in Heaven for all eternity.
Don’t have time to visit my friends or don’t have the funds to travel the world? That’s okay – I will have all the time in the world in eternity to travel, visit with people, etc. And while I believe that’s true, and while I also believe that God wants us to live as though we are foreigners here waiting to go to our real home (Heaven), I can’t use that as an excuse to not live life to my fullest while I’m here.
I’m not talking about living it up for selfish reasons. But I am talking about more rationale “making the most of the one life God gave me.” That means taking care of my body so that it doesn’t wear out prematurely and I then can’t continue to fulfill the ministry God planted in my heart to do. It does mean living live as a marathon, not a sprint so that I burn myself out expecting to get everything done “now” while the journey is half the adventure. It does mean stopping and taking time to build memories with my kids, my extended family, my friends because that is part of impacting the world and showing God’s love. I’m not the best representation of Christ when I’m burned out, stressed out, working too hard or have no joy for life because I’m just too tired.
This, my friends, is the life God gave me. It is my responsibility to live it in a way that pleases Him. My journey won’t look like your journey and vis versa. All God asks is that we communicate with Him – ask Him what He wants our life to look like and then follow through in obedience in the areas He highlights and asks us to pursue. The best part? We have a personal guide (God Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit) who will guide, protect, provide for and love us throughout the entire journey.
It’s important for me to remember that in order to truly live with no regrets the one life God gave me, to show Him how grateful I am for the health, gifts and talents He provided,I need to live it with purpose, with love toward others and with an eternal focus in mind. In addition, I want to continue to savor the blessings God gives all around me to enjoy.
Come back next time and I will share how I also believe this life isn’t a test, but it is preparation.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016