I recently listened to a podcast where the speaker was talking about "being fully alive," and I got to pondering...
What is the difference between being fully alive and simply being alive? The speaker told a story of someone who was dying of a disease, who lived each day like it would be his last. And this is how he learned the difference, and was living each moment as it would be his last... not missing out on any opportunities... never skipping out on a chance to share his faith... always going for it... being fully alive.
It was interesting to me to think that someone had to be so close to death's door to learn what it means to be fully alive. And to think that each one of us truly is at death's door at any given moment in time. The difference is that we don't really see it: The groggy, weary-eyed man driving next to you on the freeway who's eyelids droop and linger just two seconds too long, begins the diagonal route towards your car, and WHOOSH, something jolts him back to reality... one second more and... ....The woman in your apartment building, running late who forgets to turn off the curling iron... she forgets something, runs back in and--"Oh! I forgot to turn it off..." A few hours and the heat could've ignited the wafer-thin tissue paper she had carelessly thrown onto her dresser... if she hadn't run back in...
The difference is that some people have a knowledge of an approximate guess of how long, or short, their lives may or may not be. Why should this make a difference??
Didn't Jesus teach us this very lesson? He said in Matthew 16:25, "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." When we consider ourselves dead to this world--afterall we are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)--we can more fully accept that this life we live is not ours anymore; we belong to Jesus. Our old self has passed away, the new has come. So in a way, we already have died.
We aren't here on this earth for ourselves. Our days don't belong to us anymore than someone can claim ownership of the sun.
I want to pose a question: If you look back at the day you just lived, could you honestly say--in the event that you didn't have a tomorrow--that you are pleased? Have we taken the opportunity to be... fully... alive? When Jesus said "whoever loses his life for my sake will find it," I believe he was talking about much more than just finding eternal life. I believe Jesus was telling us that we would find IT. Life to the fullest. The ability to be... fully... alive.
I am provoked. And while I understand that our seemingly mundane daily routines can't be chucked away like week-old leftovers, I also know that in all things, we are to do them to the glory of God. So whether I am paying a bill, preaching the gospel to the girl down the street, or serving someone in need, I want my life to be full of thankfulness and praise. I want God to know and see that I truly appreciate each breath, each sunrise, each laugh, each tear. And even more so, I want Him to use me each and every day. I want abundant life; to know that each step I take is set by the Lord himself. To have the faith for life that extreme, to be a life so full that people around me take notice... as Steven Curtis Chapman put it "la-la-la-la-live out loud!"