There is one fact that no one can deny: life is short. The harsh reality is that with every passing moment we’re getting older and closer to the end of our time here on earth.
The Bible says: What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes (James 4:14). Life is so, so short — I mean, what is 80-90 years (if we’re lucky), compared to eternity?
The older we get, the faster time seems to go, which is all the more reason to intentionally enjoy and make the most of every moment. It might seem overwhelming, especially when we think about how busy and tired we are from work and responsibilities… but time will pass regardless; do we want to look back on our lives wishing we lived it differently or enjoyed it more, or do we want to look back with a feeling of joy and contentment?
Last year was was a major eye-opener for me. I spent the entire year dreading turning older, aka the big 3-0, but it was going to happen whether I liked it or not Also, I realised that my babies weren’t actually babies anymore! And my toddler was hospitalised, which made me appreciate the more simple things in life and well, life in general.
Sadly, these things also made me realise that time is one thing we can never get back — I was getting older and there was no stopping it; my babies would continue to grow into teens and then men; and no matter how much I wished I could go back in time, I could never go back to remove any of the pain my toddler felt in the first 18 months of his life.
That said, I’ve tried to learn from past mistakes. Instead of stressing about everything and dreading the future, I try to live in the present and cherish each moment because I know I won’t get them back. I don’t always succeed though so it always helps to have a bit of a reminder. If you’re anything like me and sometimes need a little nudge in the right direction, here are three three deceptively simple ways to make the most of every moment.
Live your purpose
Now I’m not talking about your ‘calling’ in life, eg what profession you were called to do. I’m talking about our time on Earth as a whole, why we were created: we were all created with the purpose of bringing glory to God (Isaiah 43:7).
Unfortunately the Bible doesn’t tell us specifically what we’re supposed to do and how exactly we’re supposed to live our purpose, but imagine we lived each day and each moment with one significant thought in mind: ‘this is for the glory of God’. How many mountains could we climb? How many lives could we change, starting with our own? There would be no limit to what we could achieve.
Be thankful in every situation
Finding something to be thankful about can really change the way you look at things. Slowly but surely, if you start actively trying to ‘be thankful in every circumstance’ (1 Thess. 5:16–18), you will start to automatically find positives in every situation and find joy where you might not have before. This will help get you through tough times and help you appreciate the good times even more. You won’t be trying to just ‘survive’ certain situations or get past them. You’ll be able to be present in each moment, still find joy no matter what and not let life pass you by.
Love like God
God’s love endures forever, it is unconditional and nothing can separate us from it (Psalm 136:26; Romans 8:38–39). God’s love is humble and selfless (John 15:13; Phil 2:5–8). When Jesus was on earth, He put others before Himself to the point of sacrificing His life for others. He served others humbly and selflessly, setting an example we should all follow (John 13:15–16). And we can’t forget that we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
The world would be a better place if we all loved like God and followed Jesus’ example from His time on earth. We can spread God’s love by visibly loving like God. We can serve others and help others endlessly, like Jesus did. If we go above and beyond to help and serve the people around us, we would never look back and wish we did more.
Making the most of every day doesn’t necessarily mean doing more. It could be doing the simple things, like truly cherishing or finding value in every moment. It could be appreciating the flowers on the mad dash to work, being thankful for loved ones during a time of need, forgiving instead of holding a grudge, or serving instead of being served. Making the most of our precious, fleeting days can simply mean that we use our days wisely and do the best we can to love, serve and live our purpose.