Now that's an engaging title. It sounds overly philosophical, and perhaps a bit bleak, but its meaning is simple. Simple, and yet seemingly impossible in a culture that emphasizes the individual. We are taught that we have our own individual right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. This is the American Dream. We can do what we want, be who we want, because that is our right, and no one can stop us. If you don't believe me, turn on the radio. Let's see what Miley Cyrus thinks:
It's our party we can do what we want to It's our house we can love who we want to It's our song we can sing if we want to It's my mouth I can say what I want to
Or, let's see what Bon Jovi has to say:
I did it my way I just wanna live while I'm alive It's my life
What about No Doubt?
It's my life Don't you forget It's my life It never ends (It never ends...)
I could go on, but there's no need. You already know I could find albums worth of songs that praise the Almighty "I." This philosophy isn't just one of musicians, either. Read a book. Watch a show. Every day, we are saturated with the idea that we belong to ourselves, we make our own decisions, we decide our fate, we rule us.
Of course, there's an objective truth to this. We do make our own decisions. We do exist as an individual with our own unique thoughts and desires. Why am I writing about something that we already know?
Perhaps because what we know isn't what we should know. What happens when we live each day as if it is our own? What happens when our goal is to achieve the highest level of self awareness? Well, we tend to forget about everyone else. And when we forget about others, they cease to matter.
Look, I'm not saying it's wrong to have aspirations. I've got plenty. Goals are necessary. The problem is when those goals aren't good goals--when our desire to satisfy me leads to such an obsession with self that anything that hinders us gets tossed aside. Deleted.
I think you're smart enough to know where I'm going with this. Lifeline is, after all, a pro-life organization. Loving us means no them. So what's the solution? I'll bring it back to the title.
As human beings, we are called to love. We were created out of love, by Love itself. This breath of Love is so intense that, how can we not be directed to reciprocate it? Our number one calling is to love God with everything we have. Number two is to love our neighbor. So, to live is to love. This means that we will die. Why? Because to love others means that sometimes (all of the time) we have to put them before us. It means the Almighty Me has to simmer down. We've got to die to ourselves.
I said it was simple. I know this must be simple, because Christ tells us it is when He says "For my yoke is sweet and my burden light." Christ isn't a liar. He means what He says. So, if it's so easy to lean on Him, why the heck does it seem so hard? The answer is that our me keeps getting in the way. The more me, the less He. The less He...well, living isn't going to be easy. It can't be, not without supernatural strength.
Want to fully live? Here's your simple answer: Die to yourself. Stop thinking of yourself, because you will never satisfy yourself. You can't save you. Only He can. Make the ultimate sacrifice and set yourself aside. It sounds impossible, but trust me: It's beautiful. Sure, it gets hard when we don't cooperate with grace. This death to self takes practice, effort, and time. Good news? We've got an unlimited supply of help. More good news? We'll know we're doing the right thing, and there's a peace and comfort in that.
So, to live is to love is to die. I think you're ready to try.