I believe that I can have breath in my lungs but no life in my body. Looking back into my past I can point out which seasons of my life I spent actually living and which I spent faking it. When I ask myself what living means, it’s impossible for me to narrow it down to one phrase or one sentence. Living is making choices that aren’t decided based on fear, self doubt or peer pressure. It is when I act out what I truly feel and not what I think others want me to act out or feel. Going through each day without regrets, having joy in whatever life deals me, wanting the best for myself and others and never giving up on my dreams is what truly existing is about. Living means loving like it’s the last day of your life. This is what we were all created for.
Not too long ago, I went through a time period in my life where I was dead. I became really good at slipping into the routine of everyday life. My relationships with my friends and my family became dull and fake. I was in the game, but without purpose or destination and I was numb to emotions and feelings. For me, life was like I had spilt hot chocolate on white pants; annoying and embarrassing. Not knowing what a valid life was like, I didn’t understand that I was dead because it felt normal to feel worthless and useless. When I examine the life that I knew, I see that unquestionable life was staring me right in the face the whole time and I didn’t even realize it. About two and half years ago, I was awakened to that vital spark. It was ironic because along the way, I tasted death as well.
Summer camps are something I remember from my childhood. They are the cabin pranks, the late nights and the nasty food. That summer, I had been dragged to a youth group summer camp by my mom. I was totally against it the whole way, thinking I was too old to be going to a church camp. Getting there I realized I knew no one and I had no friends. But what I didn’t realize was that death and life where both knocking at the door of my heart, waiting for either an invitation or a refusal. That first night was the first time that I became really aware of the reality of death. Death was no longer what was to come when I got old or when I made a stupid decision, it was the stage that my heart was in at that very moment. Thankfully, that night I was introduced to my Savior. I experienced the truth for the first time in my whole life. It was then that I understood that you could have breath in your lungs but no life in your body. Before, my life had been defined by selfishness and what I wanted. That night, my perspective was changed and I saw that it wasn’t about me.
I said that I had tasted death and I had. Probably not in the way one would think but none the less, I had a choice to make: I could both deny true life and become another casualty or I could embrace real life and put death behind me. I chose the vigor and zeal that Christ offered to me and decided to put the grave underneath the ground where it belonged. Naturally, it was easy to make that choice but it’s not something that I was automatically good at. Still today there are times where I choose death over Christ, weather by the way I choose to talk or the things I do that I know are wrong. I also know that authentic salvation takes practice and when I do make mistakes, I can move on and learn from them. I don’t have to wallow in shame or guilt because I know I have been forgiven by Jesus. Extraordinary grace has been given to me by an extraordinary God.
This is why I believe that I can have breath in my lungs but no life in my body. Ultimately the choice is mine; would I rather have a fake life that means nothing? Would I settle for routine and the boredom that follows? I know what death feels like and I know how fast I can get myself there. Instead I choose to live purely and rightfully. I will always be imperfect but I know that when I put Jesus above everything else, the good work that was started in me will be finished and that is what I strive for.