How many times have I stood with the refrigerator door open, staring hopelessly, looking for the mayonnaise? Stupidly, I call to the person who isn’t looking in the refrigerator at the moment…
“Honey, where’s the mayo?”
“It’s in the frig.”
“I can’t find it.”
“It’s right there.”
“On the shelf.”
“The top shelf.”
“It’s not there!”
“Did you move stuff around?”
“It should be right there.”
“I don’t see it!”
Finally, Dawn comes over (a bit exasperated), takes one look, reaches in, and hands me the mayo, which was on the top shelf, in front.
It’s happened to you too, hasn’t it? Why can’t we see the obvious? Why are we blind to the thing that’s right in front of our noses?
Why do we overlook the two most obvious facts of life?
Life Is A Gift
Obvious, right? We all treat life as something good to be nourished, protected and cherished. And yet we overlook how it came to us. We didn’t create it. It was given as a gift. And God is the Life Gift-er.
From this fact of life, we shouldn’t overlook these valuable life lessons:
- We owe our lives to the Life Gift-er.
- We must not take another’s life-gift.
- God must have a purpose for our lives.
- There must be tremendous joy in discovering God’s purpose for our lives.
The sentimental “circle of life” doesn’t exist. Every average life is a crooked, messy line with a terminal point. It ends. It stops. We don’t “pass away.” We aren’t “gone.”
Whether by natural evil (old age, disease, disaster), or by moral evil (crime, war), our lives will end. And from this fact of life, the wise will learn these lessons:
- We don’t own our life-gift.
- We must not waste our life-gift.
- There must be something terribly wrong about death.
Of course, some would have us believe that we are just biological beings with a limited shelf-life, that our fear and revulsion at death is just a psycho-chemical response triggered by a darwinian self-preservation instinct.
But, deep down, instinctively, we all know something is wrong. Death shouldn’t be. Death contradicts the life-gift. We know it, and we fear it. We feel it when we look into the caskets of our loved ones and the faces of those who have lost a child. But we tell ourselves that people have gone on to a better place, or that the angel choirs have added another voice. We say these things because we’re afraid something has gone wrong with the universe, and we’re powerless to correct it.
Learning From Life
How then can we truly enjoy the life-gift when it is so easily taken from us? I think the answer has everything to do with how well we learn the facts and lessons of life. To whom do you owe your life? What is the purpose of your life? Have you found joy in God’s purpose?
Ultimately, we can live for our own purpose and deal with the wrongness of death alone. Or, we can live for God’s purpose and discover (to our amazement and joy!) that He has dealt with the wrongness for us.
This one thing makes all our lives average: We all die. But God is great, and even though life isn’t, it needn’t end that way. There is hope for a great non-ending…
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? — Jesus, in John 11:25-26
Do you believe this?
Hope in Him.
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