Dear Sister in Christ:
Are you really living, or merely existing?
People think death is scary. I say there are worse things, like dying without having lived your God-given purpose or followed your dreams and passions. I fear that one day when my number is up, I will look over my life with regret about the things I left undone, or unsaid, about the people I did not help, the passions or dreams I did not pursue, about the time I did not make for God. So over the years, I developed a personal motto: “No excuses, no regrets”.
Too many people fail to really LIVE. Some exist for decades, way past their life span, but they spent their lives living other people’s dreams, never pursuing their own, wallowing in fear and making excuses. The truth is people fail to really live their purpose and passions due mainly to fear. Sometimes, it’s fear of leaving a stable job with a guaranteed pension and health benefits, or fear of pursuing a new business idea or taking a trip, alone. Sometimes it’s the fear of change that keeps us in relationships that are headed nowhere. And sometimes we fear we will fail at our dreams: we fear we are not good enough. But I think one of our greatest fears is what others will think of us.
Our fear and sometimes laziness lead us to make excuses:
“I don’t have enough money.”
“ I don’t have the time.”
“ I don’t have a husband.”
“I’m too old.”
“ I’m not strong enough as a Christian.”
Do you recognise yourself in any of those excuses?
Our fear and excuses only serve to imprison us.
A friend of mine died about one year ago. She was a retiree, and a single Christian woman. She was a lovely woman, who was mother to everybody, although she had no biological children. I miss her of course, but once, while thinking about how sad it was that she had died, I also realised how happy a life she lived. She loved life! I don’t know if she had regrets, but I doubt they would have been many. When I leave this world, I want people to be comforted by the fact that I lived my God-given purpose and my passions, and that I have no regrets.
I don’t want you to have any regrets either, so that’s why I have a little assignment for you. If you don’t already have one, how about creating a life list? You can start small, and make a list of at least 25 things you would like to do in your life. These should be things YOU sincerely want to do, see or experience, not what you think you should want. My list has a lot of places to travel to, but maybe travelling isn’t your thing. Perhaps you want to learn to cook really well or make jewellery, or read the Bible from start to finish, or publish a book. Well, put it down there. Like we spoke about before, it’s good to put these goals and dreams down on paper. It will help to remind you of what’s important to you and keep that goal in front of you constantly.
To give you some inspiration, I’ve decided to share an extract from my list. Don’t worry, the more you list things, the more things you’ll find to list. Be warned, this requires deep introspection and may take more than one sitting to complete.
Visit West Africa
Read “Memoirs of a Geisha”
See the Northern Lights
Watch a play on Broadway
Live in Brazil for a year
Be a volunteer for something that radically changes people’s lives
Learn to cook gourmet
Trace my genealogy
Leave me a message below. Let me know if you made a list and some of the things you have included in yours.
Daughter of a King