As a new year begins let me presume to ask you a question. Have we forgotten how to live life? To some this might seem a frivolous question, but it is a monumental question. Let me give you some examples of how some folk live life.
First, there is life in the cocoon. Many people prefer the silence of slumber. They want a life of few dangers and no challenges. “Just let me get through the day” is their motto. People forget that if the butterfly refuses to come out of its silky nest it will die a well‑dressed worm.
Next, there is life in the coffin. There are many reasons people give up and walk away from the parade of life. Bad health. Bad marriage. Bad job. Bad friends. Bad luck. Bad breath. Any reason can be used to pull the plug and let the gift of life go down the drain. Douglas MacArthur commanded a division in France during WWI. He commanded West Point (the Army’s highest military school). He was named the Army’s chief of staff at age 50 and retired at age 55. He was called out of retirement to command the Army’s Pacific War Campaign in WWII. Yet in 1958, at age 78, he gave a good look at life when he said:”no one grows old by merely living a number of years, people grow old by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.”
Then, there is life on the warpath. Many people view life as one conflict and skirmish after another. “Live and let die” is their motto. Any opposing idea, thought or concept is to be disputed. People on the warpath have forgotten the many times they have been forgiven by God. They will never submit to another person, and in doing so they shake their fist at God.
On the other side of the coin there is life in the soup. This life is characterized by the person who is absorbed by the world around them. They no longer stand out as a light for God. They go with the flow so much that they lose their distinctiveness. Their Christian life is like a dull knife that no longer can make the cut. They have gone A.W.O.L. from the Army of God.
Finally, there is life on the Anvil. We are instruments of God. As a sacred tool you have one of two options: to become rusty or to become well‑worn. To rust out by non‑use is a shame. If you have not been used for the master, jump in the fire. Get on the anvil and let God fashion you for His use! Are you well‑worn? Perhaps you feel nicked and in need of repair. Submit to the Master’s fire of renewal. God can straighten out the dents. He can restore your luster. There is no greater joy in this life than to see yourself being used for the glory of God. Let God’s fire ignite you and purify your heart for greater service this year. Keep looking up!