Thursday, May 31, 2007

Living For Today

Paul writes:
I am torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would be far better for me, but it is better for you that I live. I am convinced of this, so I will continue with you so that you will grow and experience the joy of your faith. Then when I return to you, you will have even more reason to boast about what Christ Jesus has done for me. Philippians 1: 23-26

There is much to reflect upon when reading this passage, but the thing that has filled my meditations in the recent few days is the concept of why we live here and now. If anyone is wondering about a purpose for living today - these very 24 hours - then look no further.

We are living for the benefit of others and their faith. It is all about them - those people around you, those people in your pathway, those people God has put in your world today.

Knowing that affects the choices I make today. I will consider my actions and plans with others in mind.

I am a passionate person. I love passionately. I live passionately. In the past, when full of youthful zeal and optimism, life itself, with all of its new adventures, held much charm. But through the years I have found that life in this world does not provide constant enamorment. There is brokenness, pain, sorrow. I have known disappointment and grief. Sin has encroached upon the perfection of this world. We are foolish to expect total happiness or fulfillment here.

Our purpose in living today is not to be personal fulfillment or self-discovery. ("Be all that you can be, join the Navy" - or it that the Army? At any rate, that is not the ultimate goal.) Will we discover talents along the way? Will we experience fulfillment? Undoubtedly. At least that is my testimony. But if we think that is the whole point, we will ultimately be disappointed, despairing of life itself.

I am a mother of nine. Raising children has provided great delight. But what about the sorrow that also comes? Our children, in the course of their lives, will all suffer many things. Some will live far away. They will make mistakes. As mothers, we will know devastation if our goal is a wrong one. We must keep this in mind: we exist for them, not vice versa.

And for those who married, similar questions arise. Isn't marriage meant to be a haven? Why then is it so much work? Why does sin interfere with happiness? How come he doesn't measure up to my expectations (we won't mention it now, but have you calculated how much you have failed him as well? Just a reminder...) Focus instead on this: we exist for him, not vice versa.

Of course we must consider the local church family. We mistakenly anticipate unending peace, constant joy, boundless friendship; think again. Sin and failures exist, even within the body of Christ. When you are disappointed try this: look up, longing for heaven where there is no sin present, where perfection abounds. Then determine once again - while here on earth, we exist for them, not vice versa.

And so our prayer becomes this.
"Lord, let it be better for them that I live. Make me a blessing in their world today. Let me exist for them and the growth of their faith, and not for my own selfish purposes. Amen."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darlene, thank you. This is so good.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Keila said...

What a timely reminder of something that I constantly forget... Thanks!

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great message... what an encouraging reminder :)

6:50 PM  

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