YOLO. I know most of you are very familiar with this acronym. It's very popular with the younger generations. I first saw it popping up in my facebook news feed and, being more unhip than I thought, had no idea what it meant. I actually had to Google it to find out it means "you only live once." It's a great life motto, if you use it correctly. Unfortunately, many people choose to use this saying as a justification of doing anything that they want. "You only live once so what if I do this incredibly stupid thing?" "You only live once so what if I do something that hurts another person?" Yeah, you get the idea.
For me, and I assume many others, this is simply a reminder to not take those things/people/experiences in our lives for granted. It's trendy, and to certain hipsters it's probably taboo, but, to remind ourselves that we only have this one life to live can encourage us to make better choices. Something that I came across while teaching Confirmation (in fact it may have been quoted once in some sermon here recently) is that if you leave this place without having made at least one change to make it better then you did not live up to your life's purpose. We all have a purpose in life, to love as Jesus has taught us to love. We never know when it's our time to leave this world, or, for that matter, when it's time for someone else to leave this world. Why should we put off for tomorrow the good we can do today?
There's a news story floating about that I'm sure has many others like me reaching for the tissue. It's the story of the little baby who's parents were told she didn't have long to live. They created a bucket list for her short little life which, unfortunately, ended much too soon. Here's a link to the article if you haven't seen it. It's a heart breaking story and I can't imagine what her parents must be going through. I know if it were me I would probably be wallowing in "what-ifs" and regrets over every wasted moment I had with my child.
Disaster can happen at any moment to any one of us. Each moment we have with someone we care about could be our last. What regrets would you have if something happened tomorrow to one of your loved ones?
My sweet little girl is going to be five on Friday. I can't believe how quickly time has gone and I know that before I know it I will be posting pictures of her Senior Prom on Facebook (or it's equivalent in 12 years). Already I have regrets of time wasted with my little girl. Weeks go by and I haven't used the time with my family wisely. We let our lives go by in a blur of business and have nothing to show for it. We spend our days working, cleaning, running around crazy, and when we have the chance to just "be" with our family we spend it sprawled in front of the tv or snapping at our kids who are vying for our attention. Opportunities to be with those we care about are wasted.
Tonight after an evening of Zach and I going our different ways for work we were able to meet up at McAllisters for supper. There we were, sitting outside on the patio, eating as a family, enjoying the perfect weather and watching the sun go down behind the mountains. It was perfectly peaceful and I fully appreciated that moment with my family.
You Only Live Once. Are you wasting your life or are you making the most of the gift of time that has generously been given to everyone of us?
May you always see your blessings for what they are and never take them for granted...