Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Life as a Chalk Line

It is funny how some things stick with you. I wrote in my blog on Sunday about walking by the crime scene and seeing the chalk line left over from the night before. How police officers were milling around the crime scene and how somber were the faces of those who had been caught up in the drama of life and death quite unexpectedly. I did not really think too much about it at the time but the images of the tortured faces and the starkness of the thick white line on the black pavement has hung around.

I woke up this morning around 2 a.m. wondering how my life would be different if I knew that tonight my life would be reduced to a chalk line. What if I knew that the things I did today would be the last things I would ever do? Who would I call and tell them that I loved them one more time? Who would I seek out to resolve difficulty and differences, what guilt would I lay aside and what joy would I pursue if I only knew?

The biblical metaphor for the fleeting essence of life is a vapor or a mist. That is the biblical equivalent of a chalk line. The scriptural author reminds us that life in all of its complexities and difficulties is not guaranteed, that it can be blown away with the changing of the winds.

I used to say that my goal was to have one thousand people attend my funeral. That it didn’t matter if I left this earth penniless if I had spent my last breath adding value to others, that would be enough for me. I really don’t care how many people show up to mourn my passing as much as I am concerned with living a life of significance. That is why I do what I do, because I believe in my heart that it matters. The investment of every sleepless night and endless day is worth it if one young person gets connected to God and discovers his or her God-shaped destiny. If the people I am in relationship with count it a blessing to be in relationship with me and I add some value to their life and help them live more passionately. That is a life worth pursuing. So, during this week of giving thanks I want to strive to renew my commitment to do the following…I want to:

Live passionately
Love with abandon
Laugh loudly and often
Weep heartily to wash away life’s pain
Pursue significance over success

Until next time I remain:

Lost in Grace,


Gracious God, I know you have called me to live a life of significance and I confess I often fail to seize the destiny you have called me to. Forgive me. Grant me the ability to be who You have called me to be. To let go of what it out of my hands, to embrace those who you have put in my path and to love without fear of loss. In the name of the One who lived and loved that we might fully live, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen

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