Define Life


4. a corresponding state, existence, or principle of existence conceived of as belonging to the soul: eternal life.
5. the general or universal condition of human existence: Too bad, but life is like that.

How do you define life? Does it conjure up thoughts of wealth? Power? Prestige? Is it a job you’ve been working towards? Or maybe it is nothing more than the act of breathing in and out. These are the questions asked in the drama, Life or Something Like It. The story is about a materialistically satisfied television reporter who also thinks her personal life is a golden. During a story about a street “prophet,” she is told that she has less than a week to live and in a panic fueled frenzy, she begins to question everything about her life: Does it have meaning? That is a question. What would we do if we were in a situation like that? Would we squander the time or use it meaningfully? Like so many of the masses, usually, the most meaningful thing in life is what is closest to our heart – and for most of us, that is the people in our lives.

Around my house, my mother and I like to say that because life has a way of dragging you down – whether it be politics, the stress of financials or heartbreak, we don’t want to be reminded of its cruelty so instead of the latest tragic love story, we prefer to be entertained in our down time, opting instead for a good comedy. Sometimes though, reminders of the world’s harsh realities are in order. Regardless of its worldly message, Life or Something Like It is actually a great story. It offers a glimpse of what is important and what isn’t. In the end will an impressive income matter? No. Does it make life more comfortable? You bet. But should we lose our soul in the process of achievement…?

“Life” means something different to me now than it did when I was a ten year old. My childhood was one of carefree summers and a close-knit family. Encountering seasons in life that are challenging are good for human nature – we’ve all weathered such figurative storms, and if we were honest, they’ve made us stronger. Some ten plus years ago, “life” didn’t have much meaning to me beyond the scope of my own little world, and likewise, it will mean something different to me ten years from now. How would we react if, by some twist of fate we learned that our life span would be cut short in a mere seven days? It isn’t a pleasant thought but it is a realistic one. We never know when we will stand before our Maker. Though we have a choice in how we live, it behooves us to be ready for that eventual outcome. Losing sight of what something means until it is taken shouldn’t be taken for granted and yet, we abuse our privileges and God-given rights.

No one wants to wake up one day thinking life is meaningless, that their walk on earth has been for nothing. Sometimes, it feels like we do live a life void of happiness. In the drudgery of day-to-day tasks; in the early morning drives to work, waking every day to the same routine can dull our sense of pride or hope for a different dream. Life shouldn’t be about merely existing, it should be about living life to its fullest – like Life or Something Like It, life has more to offer; it should be about having no regrets in the “little” things of life. Why don’t we live every day like it is our last? Is it because we are too “afraid” to let our mind train on that thought process? Or is it our practicality that wins every time? I don’t think it’s either. You can live life fully without being extravagant. And perhaps we do live life to its capacity in the laughter of a child or being a good friend when life goes sideways. What the story’s most gripping questions evoke us to think about is humanity and more pointedly, mortality. No one desires to think such morbid thoughts or to put ourselves in that place of vulnerability but unpleasant as that dreaded place is to be, there is a “reality check” in its message. What is up to us is how we’ll live in the here and now. 
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Rissi
5 Comments

5 comments:

  1. Sometimes, I wonder how I would spend my last day -- would any of it seem "good enough"? Or would I waste it worrying that I hadn't chosen the right way to spend my last few hours on earth?

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  2. Great post, Rissi! It truly is an important question to ask oneself. Truthfully, I don't know what I'd do with seven days left. I would most likely, however, spend all of it with my loved ones.

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  3. Charity - it is a morbid thought no matter what your thought process is. I don't ponder on it nor do I think it is healthy to but I do think we should think about it - realizing that we never know which day will be the last.

    Rosie - thanks for reading!

    Yes, I think this is an important question though we shouldn't ponder it so that it becomes unhealthy. I don't have an idea what I'd do with a mere 7 days either but I'd like to think I spend them with the people who mean the most to me and making sure I was ready for eternal life. Life is finicky and how we should behave vs. how we do doesn't always mesh. Still... at the end of the day, mistakes will be made because we are human.

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  4. This is something I actually have been thinking about lately. I think this quote by N.D. Wilson really speaks to it:

    "Do not resent your place in the story. Do not imagine yourself elsewhere. Do not close your eyes and picture a world without thorns, without shadows, without hawks. Change this world. Use your body like a tool meant to be used up, discarded and replaced."

    I want my life to be all-the-way used up for the glory of God. :)

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  5. Thoughts on "life" can be morbid sometimes but the film was an interesting concept that begged some thought.

    I've never heard/seen that quote, Lauren but yes, living for God should be what we all strive for. Unfortunately, we don't all live in a way pleasing to Him.

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