My thoughts have often driven me to peculiar and uncharted contemplation; the quiet moments of my study afford me much of the same…. The summary of what I hope to convey is how one really lives thru the observance of perpetual dying to self…. I sound very dark and grim but I assure you in my course of studying and observing; the ones who really live—and live well—are those who have contemplated this necessary truth—often. It is equally necessary to keep from falling into the abyss of morbidity; rather, contemplating specifically the audit before God to be received after the last breath! Having come so close to this abyss myself, it has changed the course of my life: to be more daring, speak boldy, and strive to meet each day; each moment, as if it will be my last. The question I often ask is not why should I live my life this way? Instead, it is: how should I live this moment, day, hour, trial, difficulty, etc.? (This is the remedy to the hypocrisy that ails even the most humble of men. This is no “tell-tale” of my arrival, far from it! It is simply the wind in my sails.)
I believe you can only arrive to the “how” after you answer the “why”. Why would you live for more than yourself; ideals, applause, vain-glory, and pleasure? The only way you can answer the “why” is to compare current-state mortality with future-state immortality, pleasures of life to that of “pleasures forever more…”, desire vs. perfect desire, beauty vs. infinite beauty…. To behold the goodness of God and his sovereign hand (in every detail), marks a man to increase in boldness, integrity, and perseverance. This man will be—as Ecclesiastes conveys—a person who puts heart and soul into whatever they do, no matter how mundane or trivial the pursuit. It all matters; the heart still pumps and your thoughts still scroll because “God is thinking thought so you can continue to think”.
How well you wrestle with the strength of this truth of sovereignty is the current that gives amplification to the answer to the “how” question. While I do recognize my responsibility to this life; that I am neither a robot or exempt from decisions/passively floating thru, there are still many things outside my control and decision.
I find great comfort in the following: If “…greater is (God) he that is in you…” than Satan who roams the earth, then surely the one in me is (by proxy) greater than me(.) If he is greater than me, then I have very little to fear…because he is within me and for me. And, if no “weapon formed against me shall prosper,” then being struck down by any weapon or circumstance will only prove to be a circumstance by which God designed to prosper for his uses, for “…all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) Even the defeated man (by worldly standards) is not a defeated man…he has victory because he has God. While it is very true that I cannot divorce the reality of emotion, disappointment and loss from its current relationship to life, these things/disappointments/emotions must be put in their proper place—and God must be allowed His. In this way you will begin to know “how” to live and live well.