What is Life?
May 04, 2014
Life is no respecter of persons. Life is so fragile. So frail. So very, very temporary.
There are times we have all contemplated life and wondered what it really is. You know that moment you wonder if you really exist or if “life” is just some weird thing spiraling around in the universe. But we know that we do exist and are supposed to have a purpose.
We think about what it is and how quickly it goes by. Life often seems to go ridiculously slow; it seems like there’s always something to wait for and look forward to.
From the earliest stages of life, we learn about birthday parties, Christmas presents, Easter baskets, and summer break from school. We anticipate future possibilities and what we will encounter during those experiences. There’s the excitement of turning sixteen and getting that first drivers license, the thrilling possibility of high school graduation, the hope of a career sure to make us millionaires.
We look forward to memories that haven’t even become reality while we treasure our destinies.
But as I think about life, I wonder what has happened to our appreciation for the current moments. Do I appreciate the time I have with my family and friends? Do I make the most of these relationships and spend as much time as possible nurturing those I love with kind words and affection?
Am I too busy living in moments that haven’t even happened yet?
Life is so fragile. So frail. So very, very temporary. When I first wrote this piece for my personal blog six months ago, one of the kindest, most genuinely happy and fun individuals in the world was in emergency surgery. In July 2013, my dear friend was diagnosed with leukemia and within a week had begun her first round of chemotherapy. Sweet Emily. The one who was always the first to smile, the first to laugh and the last to stop. The one who always had an encouraging word for everyone and such a positive outlook on every situation.
Last week we celebrated Emily’s life; who she was, what she believed in. We celebrated the legacy that she left with her lovely seven-year-old daughter. As I stood in line for 3.5 hours for her viewing on Thursday night, I gazed at the crowd of people wrapped around the outside of the funeral home. Emily loved people. She connected with them, she made them feel needed, wanted, cherished.
How can life deal such harsh blows on one so wonderful? Why Emily? Why the one who loved life with everything in her? Why does she have to be the one to experience such pain?
Life is no respecter of persons.
Leukemia didn’t care that Emily was only 32; but I care! And I wish a million times over that cancer didn’t exist. I wish to the moon and back that I could be the one to say “cancer be gone” and it would magically disappear. But I can’t.
Human emotions are equally as fragile and should be handled with such sacred, tender care.
I have to live in this moment and simply hope, pray, and believe that what we do with the present will make a difference in the future.
But unfortunately, in an attempt to perfect the future, many do away with the precious moments of the here and now.
Busyness gets in the way, ambitions become more important than human life, grandiose dreams of world-changing policies interfere with relationships. YES, I have dreams. NO, I’m not discounting mine or yours. But if dreams take us away from who we were meant to be and the people we are called to love, there is a serious problem. Life is short, why shorten it more by depreciating the value of another human’s worth?
Words are so easy to say… At least for some. I seem to be one of those who can spout just about anything off without really thinking — especially during times of high adrenaline. Grudge holders? Yikes. Writing people off from your life because they have different expectations out of a relationship or friendship is not the answer to their problematic or unwanted influence. We’re humans: we all have emotions, needs, and desires that only another human being can fulfill.
Live. Love. Understand. Be compassionate. Life is frail, fragile, and temporary. Human emotions are equally as fragile and should be handled with such sacred, tender care. Life and leukemia might not have respected that Emily went through through more trials, heartache, and pain in the last nine months of her life than many will endure in a lifetime, but I should care.
Life may not care that the homeless man begging for food on a corner has no hope for survival, but I should care. Life may not care that the beautiful young girl who seems to have everything is actually broken inside and pastes the fake, plastic smile on her face every morning just to keep the tears from falling. But I should care.
Life is a beautiful, God-given gift. Our very breath is from Him.
What is life?
Life is a beautiful, God-given gift. Our very breath is from Him. Every minute, every hour is an intangible gift of time that we are blessed with to be kind to one another. Life is not just meant to be lived for one’s own selfish ambitions but it is meant to be lived to love another.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends… So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:1-8, 13 ESV).
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13 KJV).
Without love there is no life.
Life is love.
All images courtesy of Thia Photographie