We are born. We eat, sleep, crawl, breathe. We grow up. We run, drive, hurry, live. We grow old. We shuffle, cough, and wheeze. We die.
But what were we made for?
Made to love. Serve. Give. Exude. Glow. Pour out. Overflow. Expend. Die.
We were made to die.
Don't quote me on that, because it isn't biblically correct. No, it's not entirely true, but to look at it - to step back from the canvas that is life and tilt your head to one side - think about it.
God knows you are going to die the moment you are born. He's mapped out the life you will have from start to finish, providing you sign off on His Builder's permit with the blood of His Son, the Carpenter, first.
Isn't that strange to think about though? Your destiny is death (in this life, anyway). In the profound words of Charlotte of the famous web, we are born, we live a little while, then we die. So what about the in between bit? That slight hiccup between points that they call living? What do we do with it?
One, you can fill it.
Grab all you can get, give nothing back. Fill your time with appointments, engagements, parties, meetings, dates and visits. Fill your pockets. Get a big house. A car, a flatscreen, a credit card (to buy more of the above). Spend it on books and music and movies. Splurge on garbage you think you need. Or you could try filling it with relationships. If you can call them that. Become a human leech and suck the life out of your friends with gossip and ridicule. Use them mercilessly till they leave you, then find a new subject to pillage. After all, you've got that gaping black hole of a cavity in your heart, and it's depthless. You might as well add a vacuum to it so you end up with a handful of memories of all that you threw into it at the end of your life. That's one option for you.
The second, is to die first.
Whilst the first is to stay on dry land and consume all you see, the second is to throw yourself off a cliff into the unknown ocean of God's grace. Die. Serve. Give, of yourself, till there is nothing left. Become a vessel for something greater to flow through you like the mouth of a mighty river. Die. You become nothing to yourself. You don't think about where you sleep or what you eat. You give away everything you don't have. Time you have none spare of. Food you could have eaten. Possessions that logic told you to keep. Yes, you become so dead you don't realise something else is keeping you alive. And you know what?
Seriously, you've never felt so good. Why not give of everything your petty mortality can give? After all, you've got Infinity living on the inside of you. Don't you think spending what little you've got would be a great start to tapping into what you will never have a hope of measuring?
I just watched the movie Joan of Arc. She knew she would be burned at the stake. She knew she would die. It was God's plan, she said, and she went to the grave smiling.
I'm going to die some day. For real. God knows how, too. But what's it matter if you die when you're already dead? Doesn't that make fleshly dying simply coming to life again, even better than the first time? And what better way to spend the living time, than by dying for others?
Joan said she might die if she were unable to serve people. How many of us choose to live in a permanent death that is selfishness and ungratefulness, hoarding what is meant to be spent? We will not be rewarded for our gain in heaven, but by what we spend.
So spend big. Live loud. Savour that time, that money, those possessions and that food before you spill it on the ground like blood, a sacrifice of thanksgiving for the one who spilled His. Death by living has a cost, but it is never a price that is lost. It is merely invested in your future, and the returns on it are higher than the sky.
Nick Vujicic believes God will only ask him two questions on His arrival at judgement day. One, do you know Me? And two, who did you bring?
Will you come as a living dead man with hoards of ashes, the remains of this world?
Or will you come as a dead man alive in Him with living breathing souls you made a difference in by giving of yourself?
So in a way, we were made to die. But honestly, there is no better way to live.
PS. Go and read N.D. Wilson's book. You'll know better what I mean.
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. - Jn. 11:25
To live is Christ, to die is gain. - Phil. 1:21