Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
As you get wrapped up in the business of living, it is so easy to forget these words. Easy to forget how brief our lives are. It took the death of a loved one for me to remember that we will not go on living forever. It’s hard not to simply fall into the routine of life and to forget to seize every single moment of our lives.
I find myself living in such a way sometimes that I am always living for the next checkpoint: how long until I graduate college, how long until I get married, how long until the next weekend. While there is nothing wrong with having things to look forward to it shouldn’t be the only thing they live for. It shouldn’t take up so much of one’s thoughts that they forget to live in the moment. James 4:13 says, “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” I am the person who says those things. I’m looking so far in the future that I’m not always mentally in the present. We don’t even know if tomorrow will ever come, why get so wrapped up in what will happen tomorrow. Why worry about tomorrow? It has taken the death of a loved one to remind me to live in the moment as much as possible because we are never guaranteed the next.
Even though it is necessary to work in order to live, I still need to take the time to do what I love. I am not married to my job, nor do I ever wish to be. It is my way of earning money, I enjoy it and I work to the best of my ability, but I know there is more to my life than my job. Take the time to do what you love, take time to cross items off your bucket list. Do you love to travel? Then go somewhere new this year! Is there a book you’ve been meaning to read? Check it out of the library this week! Set goals and accomplish them. What are you waiting for? For the perfect time? Who knows if “the perfect time” will ever come? Seize the day, go have an adventure, make your life memorable. In the end, memories are the possession you are left with.
Two questions have come to my mind recently due to this recent experience. What will you remember of your life when you come to the end of it? What will you be remembered for. The first deals with your own thoughts before you pass on. Will you be filled with bitter regret that haunts you? Will you wish that you had done more with your life and not been so worried about the non-essentials? Or will you look back on all your years and know that you lived a full life? Did you spend every moment with friends and family, investing in them and allowed them to invest in you? Did you put people first instead of things? Will you be ready to face the Father, knowing that he will greet you with “Well done, my good and faithful servant”? (Mark 25:21) Live in such a way that when you come to the end, you will rejoice in the life you have had. The second question is what people will remember of you when you are gone. Will they remember you as being kind and loving and quick to forgive? Will they miss you terribly? Live in such a way that when you are gone, those who remain will tell stories of your greatness, they will remember how you mirrored Christ in your daily walk.