What do you want out of life, what is it you hope to accomplish? Have you ever taken the time to consider the legacy you want to leave behind or to list the things you hope to accomplish before you die? Many of us float through life oblivious to the opportunities that we have every day. Without a clearly defined purpose we allow life to happen to us rather than impacting the world. As followers of Jesus, we all have a clearly defined goal: to love God and to love people; to serve Him and serve others. While we may all agree with this premise in principle, living it out in our daily lives presents much more of a challenge. The stresses of life sap our energy and the shiny things we’re convinced we need divert our attention. Without passion and focus, our lives will never fulfill what we were created to be.
One of the problems we encounter is that we’ve developed a self-centered view of the world. We see everything as it relates to our lives and in relation to how it affects our comfort and well-being. As long as we are focused on our own lives, we will never be able to follow Jesus completely. If you walk around staring into a mirror, you will consistently crash into things that will knock you off course; if our gaze is always on our own reflection, we will never see the people directly in front of us. We must always be alert, having our head up and our eyes fixed on Jesus. Only then will we be able to see the dangers and the opportunities that are before us.
Seeing an opportunity and taking action on it are two very different things. Most of us walk by potential moments of service every day. We have the chance to reflect the love and character of God, but we deem ourselves too busy or worse yet we are simply too preoccupied to even notice. I can attest that there are few feelings worse than recognizing a missed opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus. It stays with you at night and gnaws at your soul. The only way to avoid that feeling is to seize every moment as it presents itself. In all things, both small and large, reflect Jesus and do the things you know He would do. Get into the habit of doing a selfless deed for someone every day and record that action in a journal before you go to bed. After 30 days your life will look very different from the way it does today. By consciously choosing to serve others at no benefit to yourself, you will transform your character to be more like Christ.
Each moment that we let slip by can never be recaptured; it is lost in our history, forever etched into the past. We will never know what effect seizing that opportunity may have had on a person or indeed the entire world. A regular Sunday school teacher seized the moment and led his student to trust in Christ as his Savior. That student, D.L. Moody, went on to lead millions to Christ through his preaching and the legacy of his work continues today. One man seized a moment and had an impact on the world that is difficult to quantify. Jesus asked that the difficult task of the cross be taken from Him if there was any other way; but when the moment of truth came, He seized the moment to do the will of His Father. He seized the divine moment and literally changed the history of the world forever.
We were not created to live aimless and disinterested lives. We were created for passion and for involvement in the lives of others. We have been given the task of continuing the mission of Jesus. Every day there are moments that we can either seize or ignore; our response creates the measure of our character. Our goal should be to seize each moment as it comes and wring out every ounce of life we are able to drain from it. Life is not about what we can achieve, but rather what we can give. Earl Nightingale once defined success as “the continual pursuit of a worthwhile goal.” By that definition, we who have chosen to follow Christ are already successful; we no longer should feel any pressure to prove ourselves to the world. Instead, we should concern ourselves only with proving ourselves faithful to the One we serve. This proof is found in how we respond to the moments of our lives. Ask God to make you aware of the divine moments you encounter every day. Never walk away from an opportunity to reflect His love and to serve others. Seize every moment; live the life He created you to live. May this be our goal, and one which we passionately pursue.