Today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present!
Life is a journey and an epic experience of so many emotions. I’m sure all of us have felt the plethora of these emotions as we’ve aged because one thing is for sure, life doesn’t discriminate. I think the recent events of the Ill-fated helicopter flight that claimed 9 lives, including three teenagers and sports star, Kobe Bryant, has caused many to think about their own lives and how they’re living each day. But in truth, it’s a challenge to live each day to the fullest as so much is coming at us with our pace, kid schedules, extracurricular activities and more. It seems the clutter of everything distracts us from the main thing.
With this reality it’s easy to major on the minors, get caught up on the trivial and miss monumental moments with those we love.
It doesn’t matter if we’re poor, rich, famous, infamous, accomplished, educated or uneducated, everyone can only take two things beyond this life and that’s, our faith and people. This is truth! But, we are constantly bombarded to focus on everything but our faith and the people in our lives. If we’re not aware of what’s happening, we can miss what matters most and at the end have stuff with nothing in it. What good is a destination without the people God has brought in our lives? What good is money, if the family is fighting over who gets it all? What good is accomplished goals, if there’s no one there to celebrate with you?
Life’s greatest joys are connecting with our Creator, God and enjoying the fulfillment of those around us. These are the blessings of God and when we have these two things as the focus of our lives, the money, dreams, destinations and more are simply a tool to the greater truth of Christ in us and those with us.
This is why I titled this blog, Love, Dance, Laugh, Repeat because if we do these things with all we got, we’re going to live a life of legacy and one that counts for eternity.
Notice what Jesus said was the summation of our faith in Matthew 22:37-39.
37 Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
These verses fascinate me because what Jesus did in this moment, was take over 600 laws and boil it down to two. Think about that for a moment? Over 600 laws are fulfilled by doing two things and when we do these two things, we’ll fulfill His plan in our lives.
Maybe this is why every Christ-follower is tempted to not do these things and in the attempt to cover it up, we go to tangents, side arguments, proving points and competing with each other to see who’s better. This is sad and misguided at best because what ALL of us are called to do is Love God and Love People.
It’s simple and supernatural. It’s elementary and elegant. It’s humility and honor. It’s how we fulfill God’s plan not only in our lives and but also on the earth.
So when I heard the sad news of the crash that claimed these nine lives, I thought, Am I living fully to Love, Dance, Laugh, repeat?
This challenges me and it directs me back to what matters most and it also checks my heart to be more like Jesus.
First, we Love. This speaks to both, our vertical and horizontal love walk. My vertical connection is to Jesus. Am I loving Him with ALL my heart? Am I burning with fire for Him with all that I have? This is a consistent heart check we need because when we hunger after Him, we shall be filled (see Matthew 5:6). Most things in our lives are competing for this passion, so we have to fight for focus to keep our hearts aflame for Jesus.
My horizontal connection is to others. However this is going to be a reflection of my vertical connection to Jesus. When I’m right with God, I’m going to eventually be right with others. When I’m close to God, I’m going to be empowered to love others. When I’m receiving grace and mercy from God, I’m going to give grace and mercy to others. When I’m free and clean with God, I’m going to be free with others. I’ll also forgive them, let go of grudges and see things from a higher perspective. All of these elements are benchmarks that reveal how we’re doing first with God, then with others. Notice when the vertical and horizontal collide, a cross is formed; therefore, we take up our cross and follow the way of Love. Which is the way of Jesus!
We must decide, I will Love, period!
Second, we Dance. This speaks to living free from the opinion of others. In fact, the fear of man is a trap and leads to so much that is wrong. Too many people live to please others and or live by what they think. This is misguided and short-sided because we’re all flawed. So when I let a flawed person control what I do or don’t do, I’m living under the bondage of a burden that is not mine.
We must decide, I’m going to dance like no one is watching. I’m going to be who I am in Jesus and have no regrets. I’m going to live to my maximum by being who Jesus created me to be. Life is too short to let someone else dictate how we live because in truth, if they’re trying to control you, it’s because they don’t have anything going for themselves and I’m not listening to a person in that position. So I encourage you, live under God’s hand. Live for His approval above everyone else. Live to please Him and be free to dance like no one is watching.
We must decide, I will Dance, period!
Third, we Laugh. This speaks to our perspective and having joy through Jesus. The bible says, a merry heart does good like medicine (see Proverbs 17:22). God created laughing. He laughs Himself (see Psalms 2:4) and He wants us to laugh too.
Laughter is a sign of joy, it’s a sign of peace and it’s a sign that you’re overcoming in life. I believe Jesus delights in our laughter and that He wants us to enjoy life and live to the fullest. Too many people don’t laugh or haven’t laughed so hard they’ve cried. This is a sign of stress, taking ourselves too seriously and not enjoying the moment, but rather fantasying about a better moment in the days ahead. This posture happens way too much in Christ followers and it doesn’t have to be. We can laugh, have fun, live in the moment and enjoy all that God has done because really, this is what we should be doing.
Our families need to laugh together. Our marriages need to laugh together. Our teams need to laugh together. Our churches need to laugh together. Our relationships need to laugh together. This is a part of our faith; therefore, it should be in our lives.
Are you Laughing?
No matter your answer, I pray you begin. I pray you start now. I pray your eyes are looking to what God has done and how He’s come through for you. I pray you laugh daily and that sometimes, you laugh so hard you cry.
This is the day to live our best, to give our best and to do our best. We can’t afford to hold back because we live once and our time is now. Today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present; therefore, I hope you choose to Love, Dance, Laugh, repeat.
Have a great week and the best is yet to come,