I was doing my daily Twitter update scan today, and I realized something: life is serious. It’s a statement that’s so simple and so true, but I never really thought about what it means. It means that we’ve all got jobs to do…responsibilities. We’ve all got something we need to be trying to achieve because death could always be very close, especially if you take a path that diverts you away from your mission.
Everyday it seems I get reminders from fellow twitters that life is short and that we all need to stay positive, remain accountable for our words and our actions, and just excel because tomorrow’s not just another day. Those are all things we need to keep in mind. But how do you do that when you feel like you’ve lived for years and your individual accomplishments can be written in one twitter update? Up to 140 characters…without even a website link for more. For many, it could cause a downward spiral into depression or a push into a perpetual existence in the land of poor, apathetic souls. Those paths are dangerous to travel down.
Instead, we should simplify our idea of what it means to accomplish something. We don’t have to be celebrities, or make millions of dollars in order to be accomplished. Being accomplished, in my opinion, is being disciplined, possessing wisdom, and having integrity. Ya know. Realize when you’ve made a bad decision and try to correct it. Know when you’ve done something wrong and apologize for it. Do something when you say you’re going to do it. Stand up for what you believe in. And fight against any injustice. In all of my years on earth, those are the people who stand out most in my mind.
In fact, I had one specific person in mind as I started writing this. For the sake of his anonymity, I’ll just call him Bill. Now Bill has some serious integrity. He lives by example. He doesn’t have to be a part of every conversation and be involved in every big project. He just does his job, does it well, and treats others with the same respect he wants in return. On the surface, you’d probably think Bill is “just a good guy.” And that’s true, but there’s really more to it.
You see, he is a devout Christian like me. So that means the biblical principles he believes in affect his entire life. And there are several scriptures that will attest to that:
“…yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” (1 Corinthians 8:6)
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:7)
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)
I could keep the list going, but I’m sure you get the point. Christians believe there is one God, the father who gave his only son to be crucified for our sins. We believe that God saved us so He could change us and make us more Christ-like and more able to love others as we love ourselves, live with wisdom and discipline, and not waver with every wind of emotion that comes though.
Now wouldn’t it be a great world if everyone loved each other, helped each other, and made smart decisions?
Of course, it would. But that’s clearly not the case. So once God begins to change our hearts, he asks – through Jesus — that we “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that [Jesus] commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
So why have I said all this? Simply to say that this foundation in faith makes it a lot easier to know your responsibilities. For a Christian, they are great, and that makes life very serious. But you can still be accomplished and influential by starting with little things. Think about what you devote most of your time to, the things you enjoy, the things you say, the things you do and how you treat people. I, personally, think things like helping someone in need, teaching someone something, being nice to the people who gossip about you…or not saying anything mean yourself are very worthy accomplishments. They are things you can do without taking yourself too seriously. Because being too serious all the time is never a good thing.
So, at the least, what am I going to accomplish today and everyday?
Well, I figure I’ll just keep it simple and keep focusing on God so I can continue living in love and trying to be a good representative of Christ. Hopefully, I’ll inspire others along the way like some of the people I know inspired me.
Here’s a song I love to listen to when I need to be reminded of the importance of simplicity. It’s “So Simple” by Stacie Orrico.