“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.” James 4:14
Perhaps the most frequently used slang term today: “YOLO”, which is the abbreviation for “You Only Live Once.” Boasted on billboards, t-shirts, and all over social media, this expression has infiltrated the next generation. And although an increasingly popular term for the youth of today, it may not hold the same meaning to them as we might think.
Today marks my 31st birthday. Yes, I am, as my husband would say, “now in my thirties”. I’m not a teenager anymore. Of course that has been a reality for over ten years now, but turning 31 seems to make that reality really sink in. Call me crazy, but it’s true. I’m wrestling with the reality that I’m just not a kid anymore. I know I’m not old, and I know that, Lord willing, I have most of life yet to live. Still, I can’t seem to escape this truth:
While teenagers are using this term to excuse foolish behavior and poor judgment, this phrase means a whole lot more to me, and I hope it does to you as well. Life on this earth is a precious gift given to each one of us…once. What are we doing with this one life that we have to live?
With each passing year, I have an increased desire to make my life count for something far greater than myself. I want to make a difference. I want my one life to matter. I want to bring change to this world. I want the world around me to be better because of my presence in it. I don’t just want to exist, to get by, to make it through another day, week, year. I want others to see Jesus in me and be drawn to the Savior that they see. In essence, I want my life to simply be Jesus on display. This one life I have been given, in it and through it, I want to make much of Jesus.
Is that our common goal, our shared aim? To make much of Jesus? Or is it to make much of self? To climb the social and economic ladder of success, to make a name for ourselves, to be great in our own eyes? Is that what we’re after? Birthdays seem to have a way of putting things back into perspective for me. Another year over and done with. What have I done with the last 365 days? What have you done with yours? Have you made much of Jesus in your home? In your marriage? At your work? In your church? In your community?
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are blessed with the assurance that once this life is over and done, we will live forever in the presence of our King. Second life. Eternal life. And everything that we do on this side of heaven impacts eternity. You Only Live Once? Yes and no. On earth, yes. But all of eternity awaits you and I after we take our final breath. Are you ready to see Jesus face to face? Will He welcome you in with open arms and gently whisper in your ear, “Well done my good and faithful servant”? You Only Live Once. What are you doing with this one life you have to live? Are you living it for Jesus?