Elizabeth and I were blessed to have a getaway to Bainbridge Island and had a wonderful time. We were sick with the flu (the real flu, influenza) almost the entire week leading up to the getaway and only actually felt up to going a few hours before we were scheduled to leave! While we were convalescing, I was able to finish the very fine book Death by Living by Nate Wilson.
The subtitle to Wilson’s book reads Life is Meant to be Spent which is an idea that a great many Christians (myself chief among them) ought to embrace. Our calling on this earth is not to survive the next nuclear holocaust. Nor is it build orphanages in Uganda. Nor is it to just “get by” while we wait for Jesus to take us home. Our calling is this life is to die. We are to live our lives in such a way that when our number is called to take that final “dirt nap,” we are completely spent having left nothing preserved. This may include cheerfully living through horrendously difficult times or (often much harder) cheerfully living the pampered life of American luxury.
The obvious extension to living this way is that we have the obligation to offer thanks to God for ALL things. Hard or soft, plenty or lacking, we must have our hearts inclined toward thankfulness. We call on Him (naturally) when times are hard (and we should) but we also must thank Him for the tens of thousands of kind blessings He showers on us without our even noticing.
Within this vein, Wilson details the lives of several people that had played pivotal roles in his own life. Often these were people he never had a chance to meet (or even know their name) but who influenced his father’s and mother’s before he was born in such a way as to have huge generational impacts.
How we treat people directly relfects how we love God.
Final takeaway? Live the life God has given you fully. Don’t be a sentimental, squish. Love your wife, children, parents, family, friends, and church, fiercely whether it seems they deserve your love or not. Love them when they are unloveable, love them when they are sick, love them when they are inconvenient. In loving people we are showing God that we love Him. If we don’t love people we simply don’t love God. How we treat people directly relfects how we love God.
Be a good father or mother, husband or wife, son, daughter, or friend, and do not rely on “warm fuzzies.” Instead rely always on the redemptive and efficacious work of Christ on the cross and the forgiveness our true Father has given us. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”