grassThe passing of life came into sharp focus on Sunday as we literally counted the number of days we have left, given the average American lifespan of 78 years.

About 17,850 days left for me, if I live that long.

Different people have different reactions when confronted with the possible number of their remaining days.  For me, it’s depressing and a bit scary.

One day, I’ll die.  And that day keeps getting nearer.

There is so much I want to accomplish in my life.  I want to be involved in big things, do work that will change the world.  I want to give all that I have for a God-given cause, to be expended for something so much greater than myself.

But I’m already 29 years and 49 days old.  To me, that’s getting too close to mid-life.  And I thought that by now I would be more “on my way” to the “big things.”  Or at least I’d have an idea of the “big thing” God would be calling me to.

So, 17,850 days doesn’t seem like a lot of time to really get after it.  I don’t want to waste any of them.  Yet I’m just as lazy as the next guy.  I battle where I find my worth, how I engage life while staying true to my heart and its deepest God-given passions, and finding value in my daily grind. 

I’ve blogged a fair amount about the significance of our daily lives, about being called to battle the complacency right here and now.  About the role of these things comprising “real life.”  Yet this question still haunts me, continually: When will “real life” begin?

When do we actually start living it?

The answer, ironically, is at least partially embedded in my many past blogs.  I’m studing, writing, and wrestling with it.  Past saints and scholars have taught about it.  And the Bible, the “answer book,” after all, is centrally concerned with ‘real life.’   But that doesn’t make the question go away.  And it doesn’t make it “feel” any different.

Someday I’ll be dead.  Maybe in 17,850 days.  Maybe sooner.  Maybe later.  But I’ll be gone.  In the imagery of Psalm 90, we’re like grass that springs up in the morning, and then withers and is gone by the evening.

But right now we’re still “springing.”  And we have a relationship with the only Source of true worth and significance.  With the only Source who can calm our fears and give our lives deep meaning.  My questions begin to grow quiet before Him.  They pale in comparison with His glory. 

Sure, the questions will come back.  And the God of the universe can help us deal with them.

I pray that He would give us the discernment and wisdom to make sense of life and our passions.  That He would grant us the patience we need, the conviction for our direction, and the courage to take the next step.

On our own, we’re nothing more than a passing mist.

May our work during our short lives be of value.  May it matter.  Psalm 90 ends this way, “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us–yes, establish the work of our hands”


conversationI have done this countless times, especially while at work.

Somebody asks me a question or states an opinion on a matter that Scripture clearly answers or addresses.  However, I’m working.  I have more productive things to do than get bogged down into deep and potentially lengthy philosophical or theological discussion.

Sometimes the opinions they offer are flatly false.  I have access to Truth and that Truth declares the opposite of my co-worker’s or employee’s statement.

Yet most often I just smile or remain silent or say something along the lines of, “Well, that’s one way to look at it.”  I say or do whatever it takes to not get wrapped up in such a conversation.  I don’t even say, “I disagree.”

At the end of Luke 11, Jesus blasts the lawyers, the experts in the Mosaic Law, for not only being unable to discern deep Truth, but also for not sharing it with the multitudes dependent on their resources and expertise in order to learn Truth.

The lawyers knew the Old Testament inside and out, yet failed to learn from the mistakes of past generations.  Just like their predecessors, the lawyers were unable to recognize true prophets and proceeded to persecute them and kill them.  They even killed Jesus, the greatest embodiment and proclaimer of Truth the world has ever known.

The layers had a responsibility to be wise…to actually recognize Truth and to teach it.  Not shallow knowledge or legalistic rules, but a deep, living understanding of the point of it all.  They had all the resources and training needed…luxuries in those days. 

But they failed.

Me, too.

This hurts.  I realized yesterday that I am just like them when I do not share the Truth God has graciously allowed me to know and study with those around me.  Maybe I’m the only “expert in the law” some of these people at work will ever know.  My refusal to get into meaningful conversations about Truth is akin to, as Jesus would say, taking away the key of knowledge and hindering those who were seeking it (Lk. 11:52).

I have a responsibility to be as wise as I can be, to be deep, and to affect people around me accordingly.

So…it looks like I’ll be in for some potentially long and deep conversations at work.  But, really, that matters more than any other thing I could be doing anyway.  And I always say that I want to be about things that really matter.

I have the privilege and responsibility of doing the hard, messy work of proclaiming and defending Truth, come what may.  To do it tactfully and responsibly, but to do it nonetheless.

It is one of the tasks Jesus gives to those who claim to be His disciples. 

It is a part of really living.