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Choosing Life

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live …   Deuteronomy 30:19

June 6, 2013 – There’s an expression that goes “you’ll be dead a long time.”  The gist of this gallows humor is that, if you’re wasting your time worrying about something that isn’t your responsibility, or fighting a battle that was lost from the get-go, or spinning your wheels in any endeavor that can only be headed toward a frustrating outcome, stop.  Your life IS your responsibility (so take care of matters that lie within your sphere of influence), your time is VERY valuable ( so think carefully before you misspend it), life IS very short (so waste as little time as possible being unhappy).  You and I cannot predict the future – we can only suspect what lies ahead.  Live every day as if it were a gift.  It is.

What makes you happy?  Do you feel a bit closer to being whole when you run, or ride a bike?  Does beauty matter to you a great deal?  Are you at your best when helping someone else?  All of those questions contain statements that ring true to somebody somewhere.  We all experience moments when our hearts expand, and we step into a place where our best selves shine more brightly.  Capturing those moments, living in those moments, is what living a meaningful life is all about.  Squandering time wallowing in inconsequential worry and fretful chatter is the worst waste of time there is.

If, on the other hand, there is some action you can take to make the world a better place, you need to get on that right away.  Any right action, no matter how small, moves every one of us toward love and peace and right living.  I say again: no matter how small.  So don’t worry about getting yourself elected to Congress – they don’t do anything anyway!  You’d do a lot more good establishing a community garden, with part of the harvest being donated to a local food bank.  Some people enjoy repairing kids’ bikes and making them available to children without bikes.

You need a bigger project?  Every community, particularly those outside metropolitan areas, needs accessible, conveniently scheduled, affordable mass transit.  That one will take a while to get off the ground. Water conservation is fast becoming an issue in need of attention in many western communities.  Maybe you could form a non-profit with the purpose of making rain barrels inexpensively available to homeowners, with installation thrown in for free.  Educating the masses about the importance of locally grown food might be just the ticket for civic and church group meetings.  There is no shortage of opportunities for the person who longs to make a difference.

The thing no one should devote time to is hand wringing.  Yes, we all need to be able to vent, to pound our fists, shake our heads, and stamp our feet.  My point would be, unless that’s leading somewhere, don’t push it to the point of self-indulgence.  Do what you can do – and there are those who can do quite a bit – and take a moment to be proud of yourself.  The Bible tells us to choose life.  Since there is no one who has come up with better advice, let that awesome thought guide you.

Choose life.



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