Lives are for Living

Lives are for Living

Written by T. M. Suffield |
Sunday, September 10, 2023

Life is very short, you have few decades, and you won’t make much of a mark on the world. So live. Eat good food with others. Have as many kids as you’re able to and raise them well. Give yourself to your local church and community. Build something that will outlast you. Follow Jesus with everything you’ve got.

Behind my desk is a wall of words: 16 quotes or phrases that encourage me, each done in attractive typography.

One of them is from N. D. Wilson, a writer whose wordsmithing I appreciate, even if I think we would think differently about very much where church and faith are concerned:

heartbeats cannot be hoarded

Which is obvious enough. It comes from his book Death by Living, where his central conceit is that lives are for living. If you have to die from anything (and you do) then living is probably the way to go.

I find the idea helpful. For me, when I’m tempted to hold back, or to not act through fear, or most often to not try because failure seems possible, even likely, I try to remind myself that my heartbeats are not for hoarding. What is the point of having ideas and not trying to do something with them? What is the point of living a life of bland mundanity where you don’t even attempt anything?

Did Jesus not tell us he came to live life to full?

We do have to be careful to define this as he did—so we’re not talking about life needing to be high octane, or that our achievements should be of a particular kind or variety. Instead, we’re talking about attempting to do things for the Lord.

And again, we should recalibrate our expectations, away from extraordinary, towards ordinary faithfulness.

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