For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)
I cannot remember who said it, but there is truth in the quote, “The minute you are born, you are beginning the path to death.” That isn’t the sad fact. What is sad is that so many people fail to live, while they have the chance. God gives us this life as a gift and an obligation. It is incumbent upon each of us to learn to live this life to the fullest, even as we are dying. Some of us have just a few days or months left, while others have another 90 years left, but each of us remains on the mortality clock.
Aaron Nichols, in his article, “Three Life Lessons From a Dying Man,” were learned by a terminally ill man named Hank in the retirement home where Aaron worked. Looking back at his life, Hank introduced Aaron to a new way of looking at his time on this earth. Here are the three life lessons Hank taught Aaron. 1. Life (and the world) is a malfunctioning plane, the more pissed off we let ourselves become about it, the more likely we are to crash. 2. Happiness is not a consumable product. It is not something you find by searching for it. It is a naturally arising byproduct of a fulfilling, well-lived life. 3. A well-lived life has more to do with perspective than anything else. As long as you can laugh, there is hope.
Hank is right, we are on a malfunctioning plane. Why then, are we surprised, hurt, and bitter when the malfunctions continue? God never promised we would not have malfunctions. God did promise the Spirit’s support and care as we work through life’s malfunctions. We are not failing or falling short when malfunctions hit, we only fall short if we give up and let ourselves crash. A lot of our malfunctions come because we have unrealistic expectations for our lives. Happiness is not something we can always control. We live our lives with faith and integrity, we live to make a difference and trust happiness will follow. When happiness alludes us in any given moment, we still have even more beneficial options, our faith and our integrity. When we live a faith-filled, honorable life, something even better than happiness occurs. We become filled with personal satisfaction, and spiritual contentment. Satisfaction and contentment provide a meaningful but less fulfilling byproduct, happiness.
Finally, we are able to create meaning by keeping a proper perspective. The role of happiness in our lives is about perspective. Facing malfunctions in a healthy way also requires a proper perspective. Pray today for God’s Spirit to speak to your heart and guide your perspective, so you will continue to face life’s malfunctions and moments of unhappiness with faith and integrity. If we work at it, we will live a big life, worthy of each dying day!