To live or not to live – this is the question.
Perseverance and Inconvenience
Recently, I heard of a conversation that took place with a good friend – let’s call her Perseverance. She had an awkward dialogue with a family member whom we will call Inconvenience. It went something like this:
Perseverance: I’ll be going in for a medical procedure in a few weeks and am wondering if you would mind being available to stay with me in case I have complications and need help at home while I recover?
Inconvenience: Why don’t you try a nursing home?
Now in all fairness, it was a longer conversation than these two lines but I think it sums it up nicely.
My older friend is a not as healthy as she would like at almost 70 but she chooses to live. Her mind is vibrant, her desires are creative and her days on the planet are far from over and she chooses to live. Perseverance cannot bend down the way Inconvenience can but rarely does Perseverance complain because she chooses to live. Perseverance has trained herself to be grateful for every moment of every day with few acceptations to the rule because she has chosen to live. Inconvenience, though younger, has her own physical maladies and reasonable excuses as to why she is unable to help Perseverance….though near the end she says she will try with no guarantee. Perseverance cancelled her request for Inconvenience to help. To live or not to live is the question.
Love is a Battlefield
I remember that very old song….with the phrase in it…love is a battlefield. It comes to mind as I ponder to live or not to live. I believe it happens to most of us really – this complicated thought process of living or dying. Most do not face these complexities until later in life. However, I faced mine when my mom, whom I loved, passed when I was 17. Then, I faced it again – six months later – when my best friend, whom I loved, was killed by a drunk driver. This battlefield of love is challenged continually. Can we love in the midst of the darkness that avails us? Can we love ourselves and others – it is part of this whole living or not living theme. To love is to live. After losing both people whom I loved, I would ask myself, “How long do we have? and the answer, “I’m not sure” would regurgitate in the back of my mind. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was in the middle of living or not living…loving or not loving…and I vacillated in this oasis of dark middle ground for years while God taught me how to see life from His perspective. Read here to learn how to live life! God would challenge me to look up in the midst of life and death. Now, I’m 51 and surrounding me are precious women with not so pleasant maladies from heart problems, to severe diabetes to no arms to no legs to losing a mind to fighting to live to choosing to die. To live or not to live. This is the question. This is the challenge. Watch this short video to encourage you to look up!
Choose Life or Death
In Deuteronomy there is a station in life when God challenges His people with this passage of thought, “…setting life and death, blessings and curses and His admonition to choose life so that they would live and so that their children would also live. It was a strong directive yet it came with freedom to choose. God used plain language as He continued to explain that they were to love Him and obey Him and cling to Him because HE was their life and the length of their days and loving and clinging would give them the freedom to dwell in the land He had already given to them. Choose life or choose death. Choose blessings or choose curses. We still get the choice – to live or not to live.
I recall many years ago when I was struggling with a physical ailment. I cried out to God. I said, “I don’t understand You God! I’ve given You my life!” And the Holy Spirit spoke to me and responded, “Yes, You have given Me your life but I also own your death and to walk with Me you must surrender it all.” What a strong strong challenge to my young believing mind. I had clung to death so long that when He asked me to give it over to Him – I was not even sure how. This is when I realized that our God – our Father – that HE has a plan. His plan is from the beginning of our life in the womb to the very end of our life on the planet and extends to our life after death as our spirit soars with Him. HE knew I had to give Him my will to life or not to live as well as my desires to die and everything in between. It was my personal choice. HE loves me and respects me and gave me the freedom to walk with Him on His terms or to continue living life on my own terms. I remember responding, “Father, I don’t know how to live but I surrender it all to You and ask You to teach me.” I learned over time that life is a moment by moment choice. Every moment of every day I can be in agreement with living or dying – with God or with the enemy. Over my lifetime, I have learned agreement with God is best. To live or not to live? Live is the answer to the question.
Sweet Perseverance indeed did cancel her invitation to be cared for by Inconvenience and is trusting our Father to prepare her for whatever is next on His agenda. We had a strong talk. She is not ready for a nursing home and frankly, I’m confident there is no nursing home ready for her either. So, she presses forward from a place of pity and pitiful me to trust and treading the land He has given her. Perseverance is no weakling. She is strong in the Lord, strong in His Words and strong in her intimacy with Him. Her body is rebelling but her spirit is soaring. Why? A lifetime of ups and downs from being severed from her husband to burying a child to having friends cut off living life with her – don’t get me wrong – she has also experienced many many joys and stupendous feats of varying degrees. Through living life, she has trained herself to answer the question of to live or not to live by choosing to live.
So, what now you ask?
One day at a time my friend – one day at a time. You can get a vision for your life by choosing to live today. Read to help you get a vision for this season of life! This is how we choose to live. So, go look in the mirror and say it with me, “I choose to live.” Say it a cazillion times if you must. The devil is still in the same vengeful mood he was in while in the garden. So, you must be BRAVE. You must be BOLD and in the face of darkness and disease and depression and defeat and despair and all the other d words – you must say NO. You must pick up a mantle of RESPECT for yourself. God respects us so much HE allows us to CHOOSE LIFE!! So, choose it. Take ACTION in the area of living as you feel God instructs. Know that this will compel you to be VICTORIOUS over your past decisions that encased a destiny of death and you will emerge as your own greatest ENCOURAGEMENT. Be Brave my friend and over time, you too will answer the question – to live or not to live.
Please SHARE with FB friends. RETWEET and FOLLOW me for weekly encouragement.
To live or not to live. Choose life.
#bravetobraver #chooselife #dontgiveup #donnareiners