There are times when we are hit with the reality of how short life truly is or how it can change at any moment. Some of us are made aware of this reality every day. No matter how frequently we think about or how prepared we feel for life’s changes, feelings of fear, despair, and anxiety can come to the surface. Or, maybe something different happens. The reality of death or situations beyond our control can also be a great motivator to live life to the fullest.
During the past two years, I have had to ask myself what I would be willing to sacrifice myself for or give my focus to. This is a question I’ve been asking myself for many years, but it wasn’t until recently that I had the space, time, and opportunities to actually come to a conclusion – a conclusion that could affect my life in the short term and possibly long term. And the answer led me to a bible verse that I contemplate from time to time: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down his life for a friend. This brings to mind images from the past of staying on the phone with friends contemplating suicide (or letting me know about a recent attempt), being consistent in people’s life for their good even to my own detriment, and being someone peers from different backgrounds would turn to because they knew I would be the one friend praying for them during some of the lowest seasons of their lives. More recently, what comes to mind is going through the process of being evaluated to be a living donor (and doing my best to try and be in the best health possible) two times over the past two years. Uncertainties related to my long-term career goals to work in the field of global health have also caused me to assess whether I could respond and provide assistance during an outbreak of an illness with a high case fatality rate, such as Ebola, in a resource-limited setting. On a different but similar note, I have had to consider what I am willing to sacrifice my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health for in light of what I think is needed for me to make the biggest impact possible during my lifetime (however short or long that may be).
So, why is asking myself about this important? It changes how I live my life, make decisions, set and work towards goals, as well as invest my time. During this season of my life, my focus is and has been on weighing opportunities or risks to take before I turn 30 (as various doors open up to: pursue passions, follow through on personal commitments, and come out of a 4-year hiatus I took when I hit the pause button on actively seeking out new friendships to invest in). It's been a pretty exhausting and stressful process, however, it has also been very rewarding.
Questions to ponder:
1. Have you ever stopped to consider what you are willing to sacrifice your time, life, or health for? If yes, what conclusions did you come to?
2. What would the next 3 years of your life look like if you were actively focused on living life to the fullest?
This blog series is focused on Priorities.
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