Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Life We Live

Do you ever really stop to think about the life you are living?  Do you ever think about the lives our generation are living and the impact we are making on culture?  I do.  More often than I’d care to admit.

I look at my daughter and see the unbridled enthusiasm and joy that bubbles out of her   I pray about how that can be nurtured, encouraged, and kindled into an unquenchable flame for the life she is to live.  I want her life to impact the world with the gifts and talents God placed within her.  There is so much hope, so much passion, so much untainted love that dwells in her.  As a parent, there is anticipation of the impact she and her generation will make on this world.

Yet, why do we lose that hope for ourselves?  Why do we lose that hope for our generation?  While we are alive, while we draw breath, we have the ability to share hope.  We have the ability to change the course of things. Just because we have been through tough times or aren’t where we thought we’d be doesn’t mean that we don’t have many opportunities ahead.  Just because we aren’t 5 years old, doesn’t meant that we shouldn’t still retain anticipation as to what the rest of our lives will hold.

My thoughts come to these things this week because, to be honest, I’ve been feeling old.  I’m not old by most people’s standards. Maybe it’s because relatively, I’m older than most of the other parents with 5-year-olds.  Like the dad of one of my daughter’s best friends who was getting old because he was turning 29!!!   Yeah, I’ve got a few years on you – like 15.

But God is so faithful to remind us that He holds times and seasons in His hands.  I have some Dove Chocolates in my office and last week I was in need of some.  If you are familiar with them, Dove Chocolates have sayings inside the wrapper, little adages such as ‘Ignore #hashtags today,’ ‘Hit snooze again.’  Sayings that are meant to be encouraging, make life easier, or simply make you smile.  I don’t think I’ve ever had 2 of the same sayings come up at the same time.

Last Sunday, I opened a much needed chocolate, and the saying was “Be proud of your age.”  Now I had been feeling ‘old’ for a couple of weeks now, so I laughed a bit and decided to have another chocolate.  It’s saying was also “Be proud of your age.”  My thoughts were, “God, are you trying to tell me something?”  I believe He was and is encouraging me to live my life as He lays it out.  (Yes, I saved them and pinned them to my bulletin board)    He is telling me not to be concerned with the number or the view that the world has of what is and is not associated with that number.

Then, as if I needed another encouragement, I found 2 pennies.  One is shinny and the other dull and old looking.  I looked to see what the dates were, fully thinking the shinny penny was rather new.  The shinny penny had a date of 1986 on it!  It is 30 years old, while the dull penny was a full 20 years younger, minted in 2006.  The age of the penny hadn’t been the main factor on it’s condition.  Our lives can be so much like that.  So many factors can effect the condition of our heart, of our life.

We have to guard our hearts to guard our life.  Our effectiveness can increase over time.  Our wisdom, our abilities, our knowledge, our intimacy with God – all of these are things that can grow over time.  All of these are things that can increase over time.  But we have to actively seek after those things.

It’s our life to live.  God has set before us life and death, and each day we choose.  We can choose life every day.  We can choose to grown in God’s peace, His wisdom, His knowledge, and our gifts and talents can increase as we follow His leading.  All we have to do is to choose.  We get to choose how we live.  We get to choose hope.  We get to choose expectancy.  We don’t have to give them up and believe that tomorrow will never be as good as yesterday.

It doesn’t matter what age we are – Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that the Lord knows the plans he has for us – they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give us a future and a hope.  It doesn’t say that He will give us a future and a hope when we are children – the promise is for today.  It is today that He gives us a future and a hope.

Whether you feel you are too young or too old to truly be effective, those feelings are not the truth.  Truth is that God is working in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
So hold onto hope.  Hold onto His grace for all of the things you have yet to do in your life.  Don’t let today’s culture tell what you can and cannot do at your age.  If I want to have an effective life, I have to listen to the voice of God and walk in the new things He is bringing my way!

My desire is that we should all live the life God is calling each of us to live.  It’s exciting, it’s an adventure, it is LIFE!

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