Your Weekly Motivation
“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)
I was reminded of the above scripture verse after experiencing the death of a loved one this week. Such sobering words, comparing life to a “mist” that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Other versions of the Bible refer to it as a “vapor.” If we think of our life as a mist or a vapor, here for a little while and then vanishing away, it should cause us all to examine the way we live. As I pondered over the events of the past week, it really made me examine my life. I thought to share some of my thoughts with you today with hopes of inspiring others to do the same. These are things you may have heard or thought of before but sadly sometimes it takes occasions such as death to remind us.
Life is so unpredictable. We all need to live, laugh, love and enjoy life while we can because none of us know when our time will end.
If you are reading this article today, you are alive but are you really living? There are many people among us with breath in their bodies, simply existing but not living. They go through life, doing their daily routines, living mundane lives. To live is to enjoy life, to pursue purpose and live with passion.
In order to truly live we must:
Be authentic – Stop trying to be like others and be the person that God created you to be. One of my favorite quotes is, “Why try to fit in, when you were born to stand out?” Yes, we were all born with unique qualities and gifts to stand out from the crowd. However, so many try to fit in. They do things just because others are doing it. They are afraid to be real, to be their authentic selves. When you try so hard to be like others, the world is missing out on what you have to offer.
Stop trying to please everyone – Being a People Pleaser is a disease that so many persons suffer from; not wanting to say no, often putting other people’s needs above their own, or doing things that they don’t want to just to please others. I would confess that I also suffered from this ‘disease.’ Being the ‘nice’ person that I am, I tried to please everyone until I realized that it’s actually impossible to do so. Just because you say no, it does not mean that you are not a ‘nice’ person. When you continue living your life trying to please everyone, people will begin to take advantage of you. Do something because you want to, not just because others expect you to. It doesn’t matter what people think of you as long as you know who and whose you are.
Stop worrying and stressing over everything – Life can be overwhelming sometimes and this causes lots of stress and worries for many. We have stress on our jobs and in school, we worry about how we will be able to pay our bills or do other things we may desire to, we worry about our families, we worry about whether we will be successful or fail at our endeavors etc. etc. The time we take to worry, we can be working towards trying to make a better outcome of the thing that has us worried. As Walt Disney is quoted as saying, “If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.”
Even many of us who profess to be Christians, find ourselves worrying sometimes but we must learn to present our concerns to God in prayer and have faith that He will help us. As it says in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” We are also reminded in Matthew 6:25-34 not to worry about life, what we will eat, drink or wear because the same God that takes care of the birds etc. will take care of us.
Stop living with regrets – So many people live with regret, wishing they had or had not done something in the past. They have thoughts like, “If only I had” or “I should have.” The past is just that, the past. We cannot do anything to change it but we can learn from it. So instead of living with regrets, we should recognize what we did wrong or what we could have done differently, learn from our mistakes and do things differently in the future.
Discover God’s purpose for your life and begin to live it – God created all of us for a special purpose. It is up to each of us as individuals to discover our purpose by developing a relationship with God, reading His word and praying. God has wired all of us and blessed us with natural gifts and talents to fulfill our purpose.
Living a purpose-driven life can be so fulfilling. As Rick Warren says in his book, The Purpose Driven Life, “Without a purpose, life is motion without meaning, activity without reason. Without a purpose, life is trivial, petty, and pointless.”
Develop a healthy lifestyle – At the beginning of a new year, one of the most popular resolutions made is to develop a healthy lifestyle. We say we will eat better, exercise, and lose weight. Most of us realize that being overweight or obese is the cause of many of our health challenges and therefore we pledge to live a healthy lifestyle. Yet we never follow through with this resolution. In order to truly fulfill our purpose and enjoy life, we must first take care of ourselves.
Many of us take life too seriously. Yes, there are times when we must be serious and focused but we must all learn to laugh sometimes. As the old adage says, “Laughter is good for the soul.” Laughter is like medicine. It can make us feel better when we’re hurting.
Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Have you ever gone a day without laughing? No matter how busy our day may be, we should always have a laughter break. There are so many things around us we can laugh at even if we laugh at ourselves.
There is nothing like the sound of laughter in a home.
Life is all about love, relationships with others. We are required to be kind to others and to love one another by helping others when we can and being our brothers’ keeper. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is Love; to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matthew 22: 7-40)
All of us need to show love; love for a significant other, love for our parents, siblings, family and friends, coworkers and people in general. We also all have an innate yearning to be loved. “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” ~ George Sand
Let us all pledge to practice all of the above and enjoy life while we can, because we are only mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Live and not just exist, take time to laugh and not be so serious all the time, and love one another.
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