Thursday, September 22, 2011

Whose Life is it, Anyway?

Sixty years ago today, amid bright pulsing pain and a rush of blood and water, my mother gave me birth. I drew my first breath in this world, saw first light, knew cold. I cried then and, for the first time, consciously lived. I did nothing to initiate this, but grasped it with both hands. Life. My life. Mine.

For sixty years, I have marked time by the beat of my own heart, commanded long muscle to move, watched my own coalescing breath. I have married and borne children of my own, bought and sold, learned, then spoken and written. I have desired and acted on those desires. By the sheer power of my own will, I have changed the world. I have LIVED.

I know You gave me this life. Men and women can will union, but not its product. The creation of life's spark belongs to You alone. And so with mine. You made this life specifically for me, then gave it to me as a gift. Or did You?

For a long time, it seemed so. But slowly, I lost possession. You began to take it back. I know when this started. It began the first time I called you Lord. You showed me how desire became sin, then made me push it away in disgust. You showed me how will becomes stubborn disobedience and wrenched me from it. You turned my steps down only Your path. Every day, by your command, I shrink. Soon, I may disappear, become a star that simply fades against a velvet background and eventually winks out. What is happening to my life?

For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body.--2Corinthians 4:11
He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.--1John 5:12

You gave me this life; now You take it back, not to leave me with nothing, but to replace it with something greater. You gave me this life so that I understand not how great it is, but how great You are. Once I know You, really know you, You will take my life completely back and give me Yours in its place. I want this, but tremble and hold on. I do not know any more where I end and You begin, but my grip loosens daily. Some day, some sweet day, my fingers will fall open.

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