Before I continue, I need you to know something about me; I am dying. Before you get choked up or are taken aback with my abrupt introduction, you should know something else; you are dying too. In truth, we are all dying. From the moment we took our first breath we begun the process that will lead us to our last one. This process to death is called life. Life and death walking together, two extremes hand in hand, the latter waiting for the former to run its course. I am fascinated by how we pray for long life but fear old age.
When we think of death we put a premium on loss of life. Yet, it is possible to still be breathing, but dead. Loss of life is hard and we weep over it, but we should equally weep over wasted dreams, purpose and calling.
The Mystery of Dinosaurs
How do we escape the trap of simply existing and start living? If we only exist, we eventually become extinct. One of the great mysteries to me centers on the extinction of dinosaurs. Through the movie Jurassic Park we get a window into the past to see how enormous these animals were. How did something so big get wiped off the earth? Was it a climate change they could not adapt to, or a contagious disease that slowly sapped the life out of them?
We must fight the war against existing. Going from day to day like hamsters on wheels, fulfilling the rat race mentality, all the while crying out from the depths of our hearts, “Is this it?” That internal voice shouting back in defiance to merely existing is worth paying attention to and dare I say, taking action on.
The odds might be stacked against you. They always are when you are doing anything bigger than you. The path ahead might be foggy but don’t look back with eagerness to return to the place you left. It’s the appetite for the familiar past, or the comfortable present that keeps us from heeding the call to live. The Bible tells us this about the people of faith, “For if they called to mind that place from which they came from, they might have found opportunity to return.” (Hebrews 11:15)
A Different Lens
I propose that we see death as a driving force to live our best life now, no matter what age or stage of life we are in. Let’s view death as a motivator, not an intruder. When we all understand that we are dying, a sense of urgency overtakes lethargy and apathy. We will wake up every day with passion to live by design and not default.
This is what made Jesus effective in thirty three years on earth. He used every opportunity knowing that He was born to die. Death seemed to give perspective on life. “I must work the works of Him that sent Me while it is day, for the night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4). When we are not willing to accept death as inevitable, we will remain stuck in mediocrity, never rising to excellence. How long we live is not an indicator of how well we live. Jesus only had three years of ministry, but the effect of it is still felt today. How are you living the life you have been given?
Living comes with serving. “For the Son of man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom of many.” (Mark 10:45). The most direct route to living is through serving. Recently one CEO stated the service industry is the new engine of job creation taking over from the manufacturing industry. This might sound progressive, but for Jesus service was His modus operandi. When an argument rose among His disciples on who was the greatest, Jesus taught them how to descend to greatness through service instead of ascending through power and assertion.
In whatever we do, serving, not profit should be our priority. When we only seek profit we end up selling our soul to the highest bidder or sometimes the lowest when desperation sets. Start serving where you are and grow from there. The opportunity to serve is everywhere. Roman philosopher Maurice Tullius Cicero is quoted as saying, “Non nobis solum nati sumus” which means, “Not for ourselves alone are we born.”
by Waiyaki M. Waiyaki
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