Are you really living? Like, really, really living? I ask this question in response to an activity I did with one of my classes. Last week Facebook had record traffic due to the Question and Answer fad.
On Wednesday, I did Q&A game with my students.The only difference is it was face to face and they wrote down questions on pieces of paper. I collected all the papers and distributed them to students randomly.
Of course, the students being teenagers asked simple, silly, outrageous questions.
While everyone participated, one girl was away from the group. She wrote her questions down and passed them up, but was mostly quiet. When her turn came, she read her question blankly “What do you like to do?”
She smirked and sighed a deliberate, “I like out to clubs and parties,” then folded her arms across her chest, as to say Next.
Okay, so, it’s 2010 and that answer shouldn’t have shocked me, but for some reason, it did. It made me feel uncomfortable. Uneasy. My face didn’t veil my disturbance either.
Why is a child under the age of eighteen going out clubbing? Where are her parents?
Maybe I’m being absurd and living in a utopia where everything is just soooo perfect. Whatever the case may be, I don’t feel like a child should be doing things that are reserved for adults; especially a child that’s barely out of middle school.
The feeling of uneasiness increased upon reading a certain Bible verse:
1 Timothy 5:6 Whereas she who lives in pleasure and self-gratification [giving herself up to luxury and self-indulgence] is dead even while she [still] lives.
Though this verse is a comparison of widows – one widow is in need of the support of the church; the other supports herself – it painted a certain picture of indulgence.
A woman with a fur coat, driving a convertible luxury vehicle, living lavishly without regard to where her blessings come from. Frivolous spending, debauchery, you get the picture.
This made me ask myself, [Sepia] are you really living?
The blood running through my veins and the heartbeat in my chest made me well aware that I have life in my body, so that’s a check.
I thought deeper and asked: Who are you living for?
Take a self-inventory. (I’ll wait.)
Do you dress for you?
Do you do what feels good?
Do you hang around yes-men and -women?
Does everything always go your way or no way at all?
Think on it.
The Bible says in 1Tim. 5:6 “But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.”
Walking dead. That’s deep. Majorly so.
Check in with yourself. How can you live a life that’s more….alive?
Simply stated: stop doing things just because they feel good. Sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t make sense to anyone except you.
Personally, I’m in a storm. I’m uneasy. I’m getting through it. I know it’s not about me. In the end, I’ll come out a stronger, more balanced person.
Though I’m not a widow, I’ve found myself guilty of living for myself and no one else. It was an empty existence because there’s only so much shopping or eating or drinking or physical pleasure can do to pacify the lack of fulfillment.
Like the widows, I was missing something. My assumption is that the unwise widow was filling the void with frivolity in order to make herself feel better. I’ve been there. Unfulfilled and stuffing myself with material possessions to no avail.
So, when did I start living?
Am I living now?
I think it varies from time to time. I have moments where I’m on the right path, following His spirit, heeding to His word. Then there are the moments when my ego swells and I’m only concerned about me. Forget anything else.
The upside is that I’m always reminded that it’s not about me. For the few seconds or hours where I don’t acknowledge God’s favor upon my life, that’s not real life; that’s not me living.
I’m living when I’m in my purpose, following His will, giving Him glory.
I strive to live everyday. Some days I’m on top of it. Some days I feel like I’m merely existing. My goal is to live every day. Live for Him.