11.15.2013

YOLO stresses me out

Recently I have seen a rise in articles, compelling essays, and inspirational pictures on Pinterest imploring the reader to be more present in the moment, live every day to the fullest, and don't EVER TAKE A SECOND FOR GRANTED.

Frankly, that sounds exhausting.

Listen, I am all for having adventures, making conscious decisions to enjoy the life you have chosen, and appreciating the people around you. But can anyone (should anyone?) be that intensely "on" every moment of every day? Sometimes it feels like we are being beat over the head with YOLO. You only get to live once! Are you present this morning while you change diapers? Enjoying that stack of papers to correct? You can still have a positive attitude about unpleasant things and sad situations without necessarily enjoying every minute of it.

Maybe instead of asking: am I enjoying every moment of my precious life?, but rather: how am I using my precious life to praise God and serve others? Every moment of serving God and others is not pleasant. In fact, we are promised the opposite of that.

I have jumped off a bridge in Ecuador (much to my mother's dismay). I have ridden horses through the mountains, zip lined in Costa Rica, frolicked through fields in Siberia, sat on the banks of the Seine in Paris with my husband taking swigs from a bottle of wine. I have stood in two hemispheres at once, had beer in a biergarten in Germany, sipped café in Bogotá, slept under the stars on a beach in Mexico, and rappelled down waterfalls in the jungles of Ecuador. I have been indescribably blessed to be able to do all of that before the age of 25. But what to I have to show for all of these experiences? A few good stories, pictures, memories. All blessings from God.




Probably, though, the less story-worthy moments are the more important ones. The larger missions I had the opportunity to help serve when in Mexico and Russia. Guiding the group of high school students I got to chaperon in Costa Rica and Germany. In essence, the experiences that are not about me and my life are the ones I should be striving for.

Let's focus on how we can use our gifts to serve God and others to the fullest. That would be a life worth remembering.

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