If You Make The Most Of Your Life

cup.jpgI’m in Oklahoma City today.  Visiting the youngest.  She was in the annual "Spring Sing" at Oklahoma Christian University.  A very good program!  Of course, I was primarily focused on my daughter’s group.  Lots of singing, color, video, movement, and funny lines. 

 
I watched the students last night at Spring Sing.  So much energy and life.  So many dreams.  Yes, there are some who waste their lives while in college and make lifestyle choices that only complicate life and perhaps prolong immaturity.  There are far more who really want their lives to count.  I continue to be amazed at the number of college students who have their heads on straight and who recognize that God’s vision for this world is much larger than themselves.  Some of them seem far more mature than I was at their age.

 
Meanwhile, today is my oldest daughter’s birthday.  She is 24 years old.  24!  It is hard for me to believe that she is 24, married, a college graduate and about to have a mortgage.  Most importantly, she walks with God.  Still, it is difficult to realize that so much time has gone by.

 
I have been thinking about the next ten years.  What will the future hold?  Of course, on one level, I have no idea.  The future, like all other matters, is in God’s hands.  However, I do think it is important to remember that time has a way of slipping by — quickly.  When the children are small, one day can seem like a year.  Then as they are growing older, one year can seem like a day.  All of a sudden, they are grown. 

 
I don’t say all of this to simply be sentimental about my children.  Rather, I want to remember that as a Christ-follower, I am living between gratitude and hope.  Gratitude for the past and hope for what God has promised me through Jesus for my future.  The question is, "How will I live in this in between time?"
 

  • Will I live in profound gratitude for what the Lord has already done in my life?
  • Will I live in hope, believing that the best is yet to come?
  • Will I live by faith, refusing to believe that my biological age defines my life?
  • Will I live in maturity, becoming more like Jesus as the years go by?
  • Will I live in authenticity, being forthright about my sins, my failures, my doubts, and the condition of my life?

Bottom line:  Will you and will I make the most of our lives on this earth?  Or, will you and I coast? 

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  • http://deeandrews.net Dee Andrews

    Hi, Jim -I have you linked to my blog, but I haven’t dropped by in a while and thought I’d "check in."  Sounds like things in Waco are going well and that your girls are doing great.  They do grow up in a hurry, don’t they.Mine are much older than yours, 43, 40 and 36, but then I was an extremely young mom so they are much more my best friends than anything, which is a wonderful thing to be able to say about grown children.I like your questions for the day and try to live my life to the fullest for Christ.  In the past few weeks from my study, prayers and listening to an excellent series of sermons by Greg England on "Death, Dying & Destiny," I have been totally rejuvenated in my faith and find myself really excited to be a Christian, yet after all of these years.   My best to you today.Cheers & Blessings to you and your family!  Dee 

  • http://benoverby.wordpress.com benoverby

    Jim, your questions always leave me thinking.  They are important and hard to ignore.  May God give us enough grace to never, ever coast.  T
    Ben

  • http://www.theparablelife.blogspot.com Michelle Van Loon

    Your questions served as a painful, wonderful inventory of my spiritual life today:
    Gratitude?  Oh Lord…I have been a whiner lately.  The comparison trap ("That person has a better lot in life than I do") has me in a half-Nelson. 
    Hope? I’ve got my hope in what I see, rather than in the Unseen, Uncreated, Eternal One.
    Faith? I have allowed myself to stop dreaming the way I used to.  Too many disappointments in life and ministry.  My reason and some hurts have gnawed at my willingness to believe God for the impossible.
    Maturity?  Sigh.  A continuing character issue.
    Authenticity?  I could protect myself from hurt if I would just plaster a big grin on my face and fake a healthy spiritual life.  (An oxymoron if ever I heard one!) And though seeking to live authentically has actually been costly in my life (I’ve known too many believers who appreciate a good performance instead of an honest struggle) – I can’t follow God any other way. 
    Thanks for the outpatient surgery today!

  • http://www.monicatutak.com/ Motu

    Thanks for another great post Jim.  I hope you and I and the rest of us will make the most of this life.  Constantly pursuing wholeness and authenticity. Filling each day with gratitude.This life is too short and precious to coast by.

  • http://www.mikezook.com Mike

    Jim – I found your blog somewhere in the worm hole of the blog world!! I have been stopping by and reading and have really enjoyed your thoughts.  I have also enjoyed them so much I have linked your sight to my blog.  But know I thought it was time to start interacting instead of being a "peeping-blogger!" 
    This post hit home for me.  I am a recovering youth pastor selling cabinets right now, wondering – waiting – doubting at times that God wants me back in full-time ministry.  I am getting older and the enemy constantly assaults me, telling me that I am "past my prime" to do any good.  I know this is a lie, but it makes it difficult when you are in a "holding pattern."  If you do go by my blog this post expains a bit of what I am saying …http://mikezook.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/02/awakening_is_a_.html
    Anyway, thank you for your thoughts and authentic pursuit of being a disciple of Christ! I’ll be back.
    In Him, Mike

  • http://www.mikezook.com Mike

    Jim – I have been reading your blog for a little while now, found your it through Mark Galli’s.  Anyway I have been enjoying your posts so much that I linked your site from my blog.  I hope that’s o.k.
    Blessings,,
    Mike

  • http://www.mikezook.com Mike

    O.K. I had trouble getting my comment through earlier.  Here is what I wanted to say about your post, "If you make the most of your life."  Your questions are very insightful into the heart.  I am a recovering youth pastor now Sales Manager.  I miss the vocational ministry and feel like I have spent a great deal of my "lay-ministry" years pursuing the lie the world tells us is important.  I am attacked ruthlessly by the enemy in all answers to your questions above as God awakens my heart in a way that is more alive, focused and mature than before (read "Awakening Is A Painful Venture" posted on Feb. 19th).  How do I find the path back to my calling?  What does it look like?  I do believe the best is yet to come. I am grateful for what the Lord has done so far.  And despite what Satan tells me, I am not too old to go back to school and get my master’s degree and pursue full-time ministry again!
    Thanks for your post. Mike

  • Jim Martin

    Ben,I echo your prayer… 

  • Jim Martin

    Dee,Thanks.  Your children are a bit older than mine.  It is good to hear, however, you say what you did regarding your friendship with them.So glad you were blessed and encouraged by Gregg’s messages. 

  • Jim Martin

    Michelle,You have a wonderful way with words.  Your comments make me think.I especially like one line near the end of your comment.  You are talking about autheticity and you say, "I’ve known too many believers who appreciate a good performance instead of an honest struggle."  So right… 

  • Jim Martin

    Mike,Thanks for the encouraging note.  (It is very much ok for you to link to my blog).I want to encourage and affirm you in your thinking Mike.  So often, we go through life and spend enormous energy thinking about why this or that won’t work in our lives.  We eliminate new dreams for the future.  I want to finish strong and to not waste time complaining about what might have been.Thanks 

  • Jim Martin

    Motu,Good to hear from you.I appreciate what you said (and the links you provided.  I read each one). What you say (both in the comment) and in your links is very important.