Tuesday, September 13, 2016

You Never Know: Life is Short, Live Well


I debated about writing this post. Who am I to talk about death as if I understand it? Who am I to share words of caution when I’ve never had anyone snatched from me in the prime of their life? Sure, I’ve lost older relatives and I’ve had a few acquaintances pass in an untimely manner, but never anyone “really close”.

But then I stopped myself with one thought: We all need a wake-up call. And maybe, because I know I need it, it’s okay to talk about it.

Yesterday, I was scrolling through Facebook and caught a post of a friend, one from college that I hadn’t seen or talked to in a very long time. You probably know how it goes. You “keep up” on Facebook which is just glorified stalking, but you feel a part of their life in a little, small way. I knew she had just been married recently and I wasn’t completely understanding what I read in the post. Cue further exploration on her page only to discover the horrible news that she had just lost her husband of five weeks. FIVE weeks. I am devastated for her, but my emotions can’t hold a candle to the floodlights of her grief.

My thoughts spiraled. Anyone—and I do mean anyone—can be snatched away in the blink of an eye. I know we don’t like thinking about death, I know I don’t relish the thought either, but the fact is that we will all die at one point.

To me, the bigger question isn’t how we’ll die, but how we’ll live.

As a Christian, I don’t fear death. I know it’s coming—hey, it could even be today for me as I sit in my comfy chair writing and editing photos like a mad woman per usual—but I know that death won’t be the end for me. Because of that hope, I live differently. I have to! Not because I’m commanded to, but because I want to. I want to please God, love people like crazy, write my heart out for Him, and ultimately live a life that mirrors Christ’s as much as possible.

That’s hard. Living life well is hard. But in the end, I want no regrets. Sure, I’ll make mistakes (I already have, and I’m sure we can all relate) but I will rely on His grace and strength to pull me through. Yes, I’ll mess up. Like a little child trying to help in the kitchen, I’ll spill flour everywhere and break a few dishes, but God will correct me, guide me, and help me.

The struggle, though real, is hard, but so worth it.

So today I challenge you to face your own mortality. Have you told those close to you that you love them? Can you rest in the comfort of knowing that there is life after death? Do you live in a manner that shows Christ’s love to all? I know it’s not something we wake up thinking about, but in order to live well, we must realize life is short (even if it holds 80 years for us) and living it well is what’s important.

For my friend, the grief is still very fresh, but I know that she clings to the fact that she’ll see her husband again. Please pray for her comfort and, if you feel led, there is a GoFundMe page set up to help with funeral expenses.