Yesterday marked the second week of the new year. Just like last year, but likely coming even faster, another Christmas will be here and you’ll be facing the start of another new year. So what will be different in your life in 2016? What are your goals? Where will your priorities lie? And are you pursuing what matters most? Because if you aren’t intentional, nothing will change. But life is far too precious to be lived this way. So I want to encourage you to not simply go through the motions of life. To live, rather than simply exist.
You’ve likely heard the inspiring poem called “The Dash” by Linda Ellis—you’re born, you die, and the dash is what happens in between. You’ve also probably heard the maxim: “Time marches on.” While we know deep down that time waits for no one, we, nevertheless, tend to go through life as though time is on our side. We also tend to forget that the dash is our one and only opportunity to make our mark on eternity. What about you? Are you going through life with this perilous mindset?
Doubtless, Satan—our archenemy, who seduced our first parents, Adam and Eve, to disobey God (see Genesis 3)—also deceives us into thinking that we have plenty of time. But life is fragile and uncertain. James 4:14 clearly teaches, “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (NASB). Like a flower that is here today and gone tomorrow, so is the brevity of our lives (see 1 Peter 1:24). Therefore, a forward perspective of time marching on leads to a subtle but grave pitfall: it predisposes us to put off leading purposeful lives precisely because we assume we have time on our side.
This is to our peril, and it’s bolstered by the fact that there’s something primal in us that seeks to avoid pondering our own mortality. The issue is not that we don’t ever consider our death, but rather that we don’t value enough the preciousness of time. In fact, numerous findings suggest that neither mortality nor imminent death is the primary reason that some people experience a midlife crisis.3 Rather, people experience a midlife crisis because it’s as if they are suddenly confronted by the reality that time has somehow passed them by, and they aren’t where they thought they’d be. Thankfully, however, with God’s Word we each can renew our minds and be fruitful, no matter our age (see Romans 12:2; Psalm 92:14).
Thanks for reading this post. For more information on pursuing what matters most, I invite you to join the life-transforming Living Backward movement? To become a part, click here.