Wednesday, September 28, 2011

To Live, or to Die

I've been reading a lot of Paul lately (the Apostle, that is), and he has a famous line that resonates in my mind:  "For me, living is Christ, and dying is gain."  (Philippians 1:21, HCSB)  There's a lot packed into that one little phrase.  And yet, bits and pieces of that phrase motivate me throughout the day.  Just like you, I sometimes struggle with discouragement, and life doesn't seem to be as enjoyable or worth living as other days, when the clouds are fluffy, the sun is shining, and the days go the way we want them to.  {I have a lot of random thoughts here, so bear with me as I try to tie them all together.}  Because we are living in this world, unfortunately, something is always facing the laws of entropy...we are getting older, our cars and our clothes don't last forever, and relationships ebb and flow, as much as we don't like to admit that.  But what was Paul really getting at in that little phrase tucked in the first chapter of the book of Joy?

I think He was determined to live....or the glory of God....

My sister Deborah's new baby, Hazel Mae McKinney
My mind wanders to a few different individuals I know right sister and her new baby up in PA, those of us struggling through the 'in between' years in life, and a dear saint, an acquaintance from home, who is facing a terminal cancer that is slowly eating away at the living tissue in her body.  We are all at different places on the spectrum between life and death.  But are we?  A little sign in my kitchen says simply, 'LIVE', and it reminds me that "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!" (Psalm 118:24, HCSB)  A blogging 'friend' (author of One Thousand Gifts), and my own dear mother, have in combination taught me that thankfulness fans into flame the small steps I take each day to live to the glory of God.  I can choose to be mired in my own self-pity, or a host of other besetting sins, or I can take flight on the wings of joy, and LIVE to the glory of God.  

Just today I wrestled with both life and some points giving in to discouragement, and at other times laughing my head off at the circumstances I found myself in....

Rocky and Fluffy are here....but where is Fred??
Tutoring is going quite well; the boys are gaining ground in Reading and Math at a pace that is beyond what I had expected just two and a half weeks in, but the farm animals keep me on my toes.  I will advise you:  do not talk on your cell phone while trying to latch a gate on your way out of the farm, designed to keep in several animals (including emus, dogs, and horses).  You will have an e-musing situation on your hands!  But this was a chance for me to smile at God's creation, as J and I patiently tried to get our friend Fred the emu back inside the gate....

And as I sit here in my chic and comfy new apartment, studying Chemistry for my class Friday, I marvel at these scientific laws that keep God's world spinning.  It all reminds me that the delicate balance between life and death is not really as dependent on us as we'd like, but as for what we can control, in the private and public battles we face, may we live to the glory of our Great and Glorious God and Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Spirit that infuses us with the joy and power needed to live OR die for him.  As for me, tomorrow will be another day to choose.  What about you?

For Him alone, 


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