Saturday, June 11, 2011

Stop Wasting Your Life - Enjoy It!

I was in the gym the other day, finishing off my workout with some cardio on the stationary bike when two younger ladies started on the bikes beside me. I was getting a kick out of their conversation as they slipped between French and English, not even noticing they were doing so. An older gentleman, about my age, who obviously knew them came over to ask how a party was the night before. This turned the conversation to various parties they had all been to in the last year. Before returning to his workout the gentleman leaned in close and said to them, "Enjoy yourselves. Life is too short".

I do not know the gentleman well enough to know what he was advocating here but so often many people see entertainment and self-indulgence as their aim and purpose in life. They work hard to earn good money so they can party, party, party or so they can purchase things of entertainment. There are some who consider it a wasted youth if it is not spent on self-indulgence, as if there is a switch that is thrown at some point that forces a person to become responsible. Yet, there is also an element of truth in this notion of enjoying life that many Christians have set aside thinking it is a wrong thought to hold on to.

Although our focus is different, many believers should consider this supposed anthem of the youth, "Enjoy yourselves. Life is too short". Let me tell you a few things life is too short for:

1.   Unforgiveness
2.   Hatred
3.   Pettiness
4.   Jealousy
5.   Bickering
6.   Joylessness
7.   Dullness
8.   Loneliness
9.   Worry
10. Fault finding

Lord forgive us for denying your joy in our life, your promise of abundant life, using you as an excuse. Amen!

Now don't mistake what I am writing here. I believe a life focused on self-entertainment and self-indulgence is a colossal waste of a life. Jesus did not die on the cross so that we could waste his sacrifice. He did not invite us to follow him because he was going to show us the shortest way to a life focused on us. The first rule in the Kingdom is love God with your entire being. The second is love others as yourself; all the good you want done to you you need to do to others. It is a self-sacrificing life but it is also an abundant life. It is an enjoy-your-life-because-it-is-too-short life but instead of being filled with empty and shallow thrills it is filled with incredibly important things:

1.   joy in abundance, with Jesus as the source
2.   peace that remains despite circumstances
3.   people, lots and lots of people (friends and family)
4.   self-denying kindness to others
5.   laughter, lots of laughter
6.   the thrill of giving
7.   the constant presence of God, never being alone
8.   the ever flowing blessings of God
9.   the strengthening and encouraging acts of worship and adoration
10. the overwhelming wellness of love

Life is not about entertainment but it is also not about being a prude. There is an underlying mission and purpose to us being here but it is in this journey that we enjoy the life we have been given. We should be enjoying every day as we let go of the deficits in our life and focus upon the blessings. There should be so much more laughter than tears and so many more days filled with people than with emptiness. Don't use Jesus as an excuse to stay holed up in your house or your church. Get out there with your friends and let the world see what real love is and what it results in. If you are truly focused on Jesus and not the man-made religion surrounding him you will find your source of abundance of love, of peace, of joy, of life. My friends, enjoy your life in Christ and the journey you are on, it is far too short to waste.

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