I’m Alive, You’re Alive. So What Now?

In church houses nationwide, somebody, somewhere – some deacon or church mother – will express thanks this morning that last night’s bed wasn’t her cooling board. Or, at least that’s the metaphorical way folks of another generation thanked God for letting them walk six feet out the door, rather than rest six feet beneath the lawn’s root system.

Believers’ prevailing preoccupation with winning the mortality lottery is nothing new and in a certain way perplexes me. Why – if life after death is your faith’s big payoff – dodge the inevitable great day, when you and the God you love so much finally reunite for all eternity? After all, isn’t getting home – presence with the Lord – the glorious end game?

What am I missing?

It’s one of my faith’s great paradoxes that both life on Earth and life beyond it are in almost equal parts desirable. Although, it seems, the more greatly expressed desire is that we live.

If so, why? Why life? Shouldn’t life be more than just living? I’m alive, you’re alive. So, what now?

My wish is that supplicants, this morning and every day, tweak their prayers slightly. Rather than just thankfulness for another day’s living, how about thanks for another opportunity to live WELL, to live RIGHT, to live in a way that MATTERS to those around us?

By itself, life is rather perfunctory: We live, we die. It’s our obligation, then, to fill the gap between that spank on our placenta-drenched bottom and our final flatline with something more than a beating heart and a few million puffs of air (if that’s how many we breathe in a lifetime). We must make life much more about living fully, than merely being alive.

God has answered your prayer: you’re here. Now, what else?

-Jonathan Clarke

© Copyright 2014 Jonathan Clarke, All rights reserved

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