On Duty in 2006
Just for the record, my wife and I are doing great. We are just basking in the goodness of the Lord, loving our new home and one another. She and I have a motto that we deemed fitting for the year 2006 and that is—“live full and die empty.”
Now, I’m not really big on New Year’s resolutions. As a matter of fact, I haven’t made one in over four years—partly because anything that I’ve resolved to do has happened by the middle of the year and also because I don’t like making myself and others promises that I can’t keep. Ecclesiastes 5 warns us against making empty promises and while I know that the immediate context in that chapter is specifically a vow to the Lord, the principle applies across the board.
However, though I’m not personally big on New Year’s resolutions, this year I have resolved to “live full and die empty.” Essentially, this is a catchy way of saying that I’m going to maximize my potential to the fullest and redeem the time wisely so that I die with no regrets.
Last year, my manager turned me on to this concept of “dying empty.” She expressed that so many people leave this earth full—books, compositions, artwork, ideas for businesses and more still in them. This should not be!!! God has placed something unique in all of us but for some reason or another many never fulfill their purpose in life and thereby take too many treasures to the grave.
You see, when we read about the likes of social reformers and revolutionaries like Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Edgar Allen Poe, Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Thomas Edison, Nat Turner and others—it’s easy to see that these individuals lived full, productive, impacting lives. The indelible mark that they left on society—which resonates even in their death—authenticates the fullness of their lives.
If there’s anything we can learn from the secular icons of our time, it is how to be driven and max out. Everybody from J. Lo to Jay-Z has exemplified determination. They are moguls that have succeeded at everything from music to movies. Now, before anybody gets the wrong idea, let me say that I know that they antagonize God’s Kingdom. So, I am not endorsing them. However, we can take a cue from them and do for the glory of God what they do for Satan and themselves.
Jesus said that the sons of darkness were shrewder than the sons of light (Luke 16:8). In that context the steward was doing all that was in his power to secure his future on earth. Jesus’ point was that if the wicked make an exaggerated effort to secure their future—which is temporal—how much more should the people of God. Therefore, all I’m saying is that if the those in the secular world—whose goals, aspirations and accomplishments are motivated purely by greed and the pride of life—are maxing out, how much more should we do the same as the children of God.
Now, some of you may think that this is merely a motivational speech. And to a degree, it is. But it does, however, have spiritual implications. You see, exhausting ourselves professionally and creatively is all just a part of the bigger picture—exhausting ourselves for the work of the Kingdom. For this is why we are here…to worship God, keep his commandments and accomplish His agenda in the earth until He returns.
We are “Incredible Christians”—“Civilians” that are “On Duty” 24/7. We dare not prioritize ourselves and build our own paneled houses, while His house lies in ruins. Furthermore, Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to work while it was still day. So, don’t let the grass grow up under your feet. Grind it out for God’s Kingdom until He comes. And in as much as we resolve to die with no regrets in our personal lives, may we be in a position to echo the words of the Apostle Paul in his final stretch, “I fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).”
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Until next time...