“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14
Think of who you would rank as the three biggest celebrities alive on earth right now. Whether by beauty, music, words, atheticism or acting ability, celebrities amplify an otherwise normal life to make their mark on this planet as big as they can. Okay–now think back 20 years. Who would you have considered the top 3 celebrities then? (I was like 10. My top 3 consisted of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Rider Strong and Andrew Keegan. HA!) Where are those 3 now? How quickly things change.
There’s a hit song by Drake called The Motto. Don’t look it up. It’s terrible. It’s a song with the lovely Lil’ Wayne where they talk about money and sex. Original! In it, he coins the term “Yolo.” You Only Live Once. (I laugh every time I hear the word, because for me, Yolo was a podunk town that hosted a band review I use to twirl a baton in in junior high. Go Huskies! HA!)
The Motto. You Only Live Once. The banner of our generation.
You Only Live Once. Let’s get money and take duckface pictures and waste our lives! Let’s glorify ME!
Trouble is, it’s a lie. Cuz guess what homies…you can only live once, or you can be born twice.
Step out and look at our world from above:
Yup, there’s Kim Kardashian in all her glory. Right there in that tiny little speck of Los Angeles. In 20 years, will anyone still be Keeping Up With her?
The name of the game is bringing glory to HIS grace. That’s the point of this whole thing. Glorifying who God is and what He’s done for us. You can either be the part that brings glory to His grace by CONTRAST, or by similarity. Either way, He’s going to get the glory. The light shines brightly in the darkest areas. Are you the part that shines, or are you in the darkness it shines out of?
“…you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life…” Phil 2:15
A celebrity can amplify their years on earth, getting as much fame and wealth and worldly significance as they can muster up, but that glory is limited. No matter who you are, you can’t add any years to your life. You can’t make your life more than the mist it is– a tiny blip on the timeline of our universe. The world spends so much time trying to copy these people in their limited glory, so that their glory is a cheap imitation of glory that’s already cheap and small in relation to the big picture.
What do you want to chase? Glory that will fade in 20 years, or glory that will last an eternity? If my little life is just a mist that is here one day and gone the next, what is the best way I can spend it? Is the limit of my life’s glory, the most I can muster up, the white boots and red lipstick and pom poms that I sported for a few months of my existence? What does that look like in the scheme of it all? Nothing! Who cares!?
I want to make my mist-of-a-life a heavy downpour. A rainstorm. Something that at least generated some significance. Here’s a few ways I can do that:
1- Make my small life count. YOLO as your motto? Nahh. How about Don’t Waste Your Life. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Phil 3:8
2- Make my small life last. “Jesus said to her, “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?” John 11:25
3- Make my small life multiply. “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children- with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” Psalm 103:17-18
We can make the most of our lives by making the most of Christ. We can beat YOLO with eternal life. We can multiply the impact of our lives by leaving a legacy through our kids and other people. Training them up in Him so that they make the most of him, and so on, and so on.
In ancient times, people tried to build a huge tower thinking they could reach heaven with it. We’ve been to the moon and still can’t reach it. If we waste our lives trying to build ourselves into demi-gods, we’re just building a big tower trying to reach heaven, when our best attempts are puny at best. He’s given us the vehicle to make our lives count, though, and it looks like this–less of me, more of Him.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Phil 2:3-8