That title, it’s not true. We’ve got so many days ahead of us. We can start there and move onto the next thing.
Life is really freaking short. We can move to that dot, let’s make that our road map.
This past Saturday night, a guy I went to school with my whole life until college died in a car accident. It wasn’t his fault, it was this freak accident with an 18-wheeler. And when I first found out, I wasn’t devastated. It was more of a shock, and a “this isn’t real” sort of feeling. 23 years old. 23.
So in one ear, I’ve got someone constantly saying to me, “We’ve got so many days ahead of us,” and I really started to convince myself that was true. And I don’t even know what the hell that means. And then this happened. This grief-charged, shocking, and fleeting thing that reminded me how short life is. Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4 was the first thing that came to mind, and that’s really comforting that that’s how much I’ve grown in an intimacy with the Lord, that His Word would be the first thing to comfort.
No, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. We aren’t even guaranteed our next minute. So wake the hell up and live your life with intention and purpose. Speak words that are true. If there’s something you want, go after it. Obviously use wisdom, but stop waiting or you’ll be waiting your entire life. I think Lemony Snicket wrote that.
The first day I ever worked at Elevate, our president Billy came in and the first words he spoke to us on were those of regret. He told us not to live with any regrets, and I remember that conversation and pause every once in a while to think about that. Am I living with any regrets right now? Is there anything I should’ve said or should’ve done or words I spoke too quickly or didn’t say soon enough or an action I didn’t take or an action I did make out of fear? What is it? You’re thinking about yours right now as you read this. And fear is powerful. When we act out of fear, we’re not actually acting out of the person that God calls us to be.
And for a long time I was acting out of so many different fears I couldn’t peg. Just this morning, Billy said, “You realize all the crap you believe about yourself and you act out of that,” and if that isn’t the truth. If I truly believed that I was who God says I am, there are so many things I wouldn’t do in my life. And I realized in a conversation I had yesterday, probably one of the most refreshing ones I’ve had in a while, that I don’t know what the pursuit of God looks like. I made the comment that I didn’t actually know what it looked like to be pursued correctly in a romantic relationship, and I felt this pang of conviction where God was like, “Good thing I’ve never stopped pursuing you and you’ve just been wandering around wondering what that ought to look like.” I literally have the perfect picture of pursuit in front of me when I open God’s Word, and I disregard it.
Now, do I want to end up with someone who pursues me well and gives me a glimpse of the love that Jesus has toward me? Absolutely. Will anyone ever do it perfectly? No way. But will I know when God is intersecting my story with someone who is actually willing to try? Yes. And it will be someone who puts God before me, and what a refreshing thing that is, to know that we would both have our eyes so fixed on God that we only get to love each other through a lens of grace. But it’s like I’ve been walking through crowds of people frantically looking for someone who can give me a picture of what pursuit looks like when God’s just been waiting for me to turn around so He can say, “It’s always been me. I’ve always been the perfect picture.” And it’s a picture of patience and kindness and love I could never fathom. And that’s comforting, that no one on earth will ever give me that but that I already have a whole picture of that in Jesus, that God would come for us, constantly.
And maybe I’m preaching to the choir, but most of this is a lot of preaching to me.
So how did I connect those dots? A guy I grew up with died this weekend, and I’m leaving you talking about the pursuit of God on each of our lives.
How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
If you have something you need to say today, say it. If you withheld the truth from someone, tell them. If you need to forgive someone, do it. If you need to apologize, do it. You could be here today, and gone tomorrow. And that may sound so cheesy, but damn, it’s so true.
And I didn’t realize it until I was sitting in my boss’s office this afternoon, and he asked how I was feeling and I just started crying. I didn’t even know it was coming, and usually I know. I just started crying and I told him this guy had died but this guy who hurt me said we had so many days ahead of us but we don’t. And I cried. And he wasn’t thrown off.
And it was in that moment that I remembered God sees us. He uses His Word to remind us of that, but even more than that, His Holy Spirit is literally dwelling in each of us and He is using each of us to remind one another of His character and His consistency and that He sees us and knows us. And that may be the best thing I’ve ever heard: not only that God would come for us in the person of Jesus, but that He is always coming after us, over and over and over again.