Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
This question at the end of Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day is really good. It is a question that should remind us of the value of our lives, as well as the brevity of our lives. It speaks to the uniqueness of our individual lives. And to the value of life made up of days that quickly pass and cannot be lived again.
As I reflect on this sentence I can’t help but think of my life as a Christian. I take this to mean much more than just trying to do my best to obey the “rules” of being a Christian man – as good, or as helpful, as those rules may be. It makes me think more broadly. Is my life really about something that matters to God and his people? Do I really live in a way that brings glory to God? Does my life call attention to Him? I don’t need to be doing great things, just simple things in a biblically true manner. Ultimately that means we live for God’s glory. John Piper writes,
“God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives.”
That means that whenever we live for any reason other than the glory of God we will be wasting our days. Piper’s book is worth purchasing and reading. It is not a book about having a safe or secure life, but a life that really matters. He and Mary Oliver both call us to think and live more deeply than our own little worlds. I’ve been thinking about these things. How about you? The thinking has been somewhat easy. The doing seems to be harder.