I started thinking about writing this post a few weeks ago when I heard a friend's tweenage daughter say something like, "Well, when I start living my real life, I'm going to..." I quickly responded, "Sweetheart, you're living your real life now. Your life has already begun." I'm not sure where that response came from but that quick interchange brought up passionate emotions in me. I kept thinking about that little conversation, over and over again.
A week or so later I was at my doctor's office getting yet another shot of chemo and the RN said something to the effect of "I hope this works so you can get back to your real life." I looked that nurse straight in the eyes and said, "Darlin', I'm living my real life now. This is real life. My life hasn't stopped because of this."
We watch the movie Tangled pretty often around here (almost every day). William loves it. When he is older he will kill me for telling you this but do you know the part where she is leaving the tower with Flynn and she zips down, hair and skirt flapping in the wind? William sucks in his breath a little when he watches that. I love to watch him watching that scene. Anyway, in the beginning of the movie, Repunzel sings a song, "When will my life begin?" I want to reach right into my TV, grab her by the shoulders and say, "Your life has already begun! Live!" Then, of course, I remember, its a cartoon.
I desperately want you to know something. You are living your real life now, today. This is your real life. I wonder, how many of you out there are waiting for something or waiting to get through something to start living. The more I thought about this the more I saw this mentality throughout my whole life, "When I get into high school...when I go to college....when I have a job and am living on my own...when I get married...when we have kids....when William goes to school...when William gets out of school...when I have grandkids....then I'll..... I call this the when and then effect. Our feet are in today but our heart is on tomorrow, next year, the next decade, etc...
This can also work in reverse. As I've gotten older, I can see how looking back with nostalgia can also produce this effect. We say things like, "Those were the days!" and "Boy, we were really living then."
The problem with both these kinds of thinking is that it robs of the joy of our lives today. It, if you will, sucks the very life out of today. We keep thinking we'll really live when or we really lived when...(you fill in the blank) and what we're really thinking of is a time when we think, or thought, life was or will be almost perfect. The truth is, life was never perfect and won't be until Christ returns.
Its seems paradoxical but there is only one way to really live. One way to enjoy and thrive in even the worst times of life. We must die.
Colossians 3:3,4 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is ur life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
This verse has come to mean so much to me. My life is hidden in Christ. I am hidden in Christ. I don't really live anymore but He lives in me and gives the life He has to me. He has full authority over my life and I trust Him completely. I'm living for His glory and He therefore, can use anything He wants to glorify Himself.
You may not believe this but I can honestly say that this recent experience with GTD and chemo has been pleasant, invigorating even, because I've spent it with Him. It made me seek Him more, chase after Him harder, and as a result, I feel more alive now than I did before this weird disease. You know what else is weird, I'm less possessive of my life. I'm happy to give it to Him. I'm happy for Him to have His way in my life. I'm still dreaming and hoping but I'm letting Him author my dreams and hopes. I'm enjoying my today and trusting my tomorrow to Him.
I still think about what tomorrow may bring and what I would like it to bring but I trust whichever way life goes, I'm going to be okay because I'm with Him. I'm being held by the One who holds all things together. (Col 1:17)