Gift of Life
Life is Gift
If you’ve visited a graveyard you might notice on the tombstones, beneath the name of the person buried there, are two dates – the date of birth and the date of death. In between the dates is a seemingly insignificant dash. That dash is our span of life, the time we spend alive on earth, our life as we know it. And what matters most is how we live that dash.
Life is often compared to a roller-coaster ride – ups and downs, with twists and turns along the way. And yet life is a gift, a precious gift, an amazing gift. We are called first to accept the gift of life that God gives us, then to praise God joyfully for the gift.
No doubt there have been rough waters and heavy seas in our lives and we probably felt that Jesus was not there for us. Maybe he was asleep during those storms. We may feel alone, just as Jesus felt on the Cross. But be assured, we are NEVER alone – God is ALWAYS with us. One of the promises of Jesus is “I am with you always, yes, to the end of time.” [Matthew 28:20]
Sometimes, struggles are exactly what is needed in our lives. If we were allowed to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. Without a struggle, there can be no progress. People who have overcome obstacles are more secure than those who have never faced them
Peaks and Valleys
Author Spencer Johnson states that “it is natural for everyone everywhere to have peaks and valleys … in life.” The peaks, he says, “are moments when you appreciate what you have.” The valleys “are moments when you long for what is missing.”
There are silver linings even in times of adversity. We need to take the time to look for them, give our full trust to God and allow God to transform us. Albert Einstein suggests: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
We are often told “people don’t change.” The example of St Paul teaches otherwise – look at the transformation of Saul into Paul. There is always hope. Paul teaches us we can offer help and support to those who have lost their way. “…forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 3:13-14 NABRE]
Like Paul, we too can at times feel God touching on us—and most of us resist because such a happening is too far out of our comfort zone. We are much happier living within normal life. But the purpose of life is to live it. It is a gift … one we should not waste.
Each day is a clean slate, for each day is a new day that’s never been lived before. Life is wonderful – full of joy and laughter. We have a divine fire within us. We reach for the stars. We dream of the infinite. We have God’s breath in our lungs and God’s love in our hearts. God, through the Holy Spirit of Fire, the Spirit of Love, is with us all the way. By trusting in God we will be led through all the phases of transformation into the Light.
The words of a country music song sum up the dash that is our lives, “I hope you get the chance to live like you were dyin’.”