Living By The Dash

on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Most people dread the day they will face death but I reckon there is nothing to fear about dying if you really never existed. How can you end something that has not yet begun in the first place? Or should I ask, what could someone do to bring life to a living dead person? These are the things that every sapien silently asks to himself in his moments of introspection. Some people in this dreary old world only exist for one thing and that is to be happy, they search for places, people, and even practices which can ultimately bring forth reason for their existence. Some of us, on the other hand, only exist to gain earthly treasures just to find out that life is too short to actually gain everything. Death is inevitable and we all know that, God never designed us to be like worms, which can regenerate if one of its segments is cut off. We only have one life to live here on earth and we need to make every moment count. In a psychological perspective though (pardon my rusty explanation as I have been out of post-graduate school for quite a while now, geeeez!!), people live through a lot of developmental stages --- social, cognitive, physical and even behavioural. For some personality theorists (hmmm, I’m tryin’ to be one!), a couple of these stages should be strictly followed otherwise the person can not move to the next level of development, hence, the word fixation. Certain behavioural patterns will exhibit if these stages are not fully reached across the lifespan and this is one of the many ways that some psychologists (like me, ahem ahem!!) look at in understanding how a person behaves and lives his life. Moreover, one’s life is molded by a lot of factors both intrinsically (biological and behavioural) and extrinsically (socio-cultural) depending on how much impact these factors have in the person. Ultimately, every person’s goal is to achieve a genuine sense of individuality; an identity that sets him/her apart from other people. How one gets to the individuation stage is something that will determine how a person will live his/her life. For some doctrines of religion, this stage could be comparatively described as the Nirvana of life. But hey, I am a Christian! So please allow me to express my humble thoughts about living a life designed by the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

Looking at the epitaphs of people buried in the cemeteries, you will see one common description about the person ---- the day of birth and the day the person experienced rigor mortis (as my Anatomy teacher would word it - - now I’m missing our class’ cadaver, her name was “Skelly” short for skeleton, Lolz!), but which is really important between the two? I guess nobody will really care unless if you’re into numerology or other New Age practices. To me, it’s the LITTLE DASH between the dates that truly matters. That short tiny dash represents a lot of things, it makes you wonder, how much this person mazimised his life on earth. How many struggles did he experience, how many battles he fought, what were his dreams, how many times did he laugh, how many litres of tears did he shed, and above all how did he live his life? That short DASH means a lot to God and He makes a long account of one’s life through it. I mentioned earlier that life is too short but God is so gracious to give us so many chances to fathom its meaning, to enjoy it and have it to the FULL! People today live for nothing because their principles are so twisted, thinking that the only way to live one’s life is to enjoy it, do good works (we can not be saved in doing good works but only through God’s grace), and earn more money. They have purposefully removed love, victory, faith, eternity, and God out of the equation because these things are too intricate to measure and understand. To God, our life is just but a handbreadth and if we spend our time living up for earthly principles of happiness we will die feeling discontented because we will always have something to long for even in our death bed. The journey of life commences when we begin to realise that we are dead to sin and that no matter how much effort we do to put meaning into our being these things will only fall short from experiencing God’s victory over human strife. No matter how rich and fulfilled you are in the eyes of the people, God knows what’s happening on the inside - - a life of guilt, depression, addiction, deception, animosity and discontent. These things will bury us in a bottomless pit where life is nil. A person may also be intelligent and does not need to believe on something that he does not see, but God will choose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise and this person will stand before God and He won’t acknowledge him for he chose to live his life according to how he designed it minus the will of the One who created him. As a Christian, we need to understand that we died with Jesus on the cross but since death could not hold Him down, He rose from the dead and now we live in Him and we are alive. We can never have a perfect life because we are not perfect, God knows that we can never be good enough for Him but because He is so gracious He makes us feel that no matter how many times we disappoint He remains faithful and still gives us His favor in everything we do.

A life of obedience means a life of abundance; this means that no matter how few the fishes and loaves are in your basket as long as you obey, God can multiply them to feed thousands of people who will soon be blessed because of your obedience to God. If God is telling us to do things now, then we shouldn’t be putting them off because we might not be able to do them in the future. A dirty pan if left unwashed for several days will become so difficult to wash, the same thing with our relationships. If God is asking you to heal that relationship with someone (mom, dad, friends, boss, etc.) but you keep on putting it off, our hearts will soon become calloused and we might not be able to re-build those broken relationships in the future. Life is too short to be spent with hatred, unforgiveness, and guilt. Night after night you go to your beds feeling frustrated about your broken relationships, but God can free you from those bondages if you only choose to obey and not procrastinate. What are you putting off today? Tomorrow might not come and you might suffer the consequences of disobedience. A disobedient life will only force God to disown you before His Holy Father.

Living a life with Christ is a decision that we need to nurture whether things go against our way or our way. Remember, that the true test of living a God-designed life is reflected on how we respond to struggles. In my quiet times with God, I ask Him a lot of questions about what’s been happening in my life, why He’s hiding His face from me, why He’s forsaken me in my wilderness, why He’s not answering my prayers but since I made a decision to live my life in Christ then I must accept His will even if I don’t understand it. I don’t want to rebel against God just because He’s not answering my needs; I know that I have only one life to live and I don’t want to spend it trying to figure out God’s perfect plan for me. For I know that everything works together for good to those who love God… Let’s all make every moment count, after all we only have one life to live!!

“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain
a heart of wisdom.”
Psalms 90:12