I Value Life

The older I get, the more I marvel at life. And the more I value it.

Maybe that’s because I’m looking back at the nearly seventy years of my life that have already passed. No matter what, they are my personal history—events that cannot be changed, erased, or ignored. They are facts, not opinions—whether I remember them correctly or not—and they include the good, the bad, and the meaningless. Oh, and let’s not forget about the ridiculous.

That time-span is very, very finite even as it continues to expand one minute at a time. In the blink of an eye, “right now” becomes “just then.”

But I also value life because I’m looking forward to the remainder of my days, a portrait that’s still being painted, a book that’s still being written. The time I have left—maybe only hours or minutes—and the quality of that time are beyond my ability to predict. Or even to guess at.

What I can accomplish during my remaining time on earth is equally unknown. No matter how I hope and pray to be mentally alert to the very end and die peacefully in my sleep, the “information’s not available to the mortal man,” as Paul Simon once wrote and sang.

Life. Yes, I marvel at it. And I value it.

I used to think PETA, the animal rights group, was completely whacko. And I still do regarding most of their ideas. I’m not going to give up eating meat or start thinking that animals should have the same rights as people. That’s unbiblical.

God created the animals and placed them under man’s control. Even though Adam and Eve were apparently vegans until the first sin led to their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, they and their descendants didn’t remain vegans for long.

Although God specified the kinds of meat that shouldn’t be eaten, He didn’t forbid eating meat completely. And who but their Creator has the right to set the example of treating animals as animals? God clothed Adam and Eve in animal skins after they sinned and realized they were naked.

Still, PETA has a point about the importance of creature lives.

I’ve recently had a problem with ants crawling up through the drain in the bathroom sink and walking around as if they owed the place. At one time I would’ve simply flushed them down the sink without a second thought.

I still rinse them away—who can stand having ants where they don’t belong?—but I no longer do it without thinking. Those tiny creatures are just as alive as I am, and death for them is just as real. How did God create such different creatures as humans and insects and give both of us life? For me, that’s just as much a mind blower as pondering the fact that plants and animals are both alive, but in such completely different ways.

I also used to feel neutral about abortion. So did a lot of other people who’ve come to recognize that life actually does begin at conception.

Yet it would seem that the abortion providers see their work as simply rinsing worthless ants down the drain. Why can’t they see the value of the lives they’re taking?

Hmm. I wonder how many members of PETA have had abortions. Or are they horrified at what’s being done to those tiny human “animals”?

I don’t know. Perhaps I don’t want to know.

But I’ll continue to be pro-life because I value life.

If you have anything to share about this subject, please leave a comment.

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Pressing On

Our church choir recently sang an anthem called “Press On.” It’s based on something the apostle Paul said in the Bible:
“Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in the Messiah Jesus. Therefore, those of us who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will show you how to think.” (Philippians 3:13-15)

That Scripture has great relevance to Christians, and so does the anthem. The anthem reminds me of something else, though. As I continue to age, life itself requires me to keep pressing on.

I feel so blessed that God has given me musical and creative writing skills, and I’m always thankful when I get to use those talents to bless other people. And I admit I’m apt to get frustrated when I don’t have a chance to do that. I don’t believe God gave me those abilities just to amuse myself and my wife.

I’ve heard of too many older people who, upon retiring, basically quit living. They quit living useful and productive lives, anyhow, and that’s the last thing in the world I want to do. I can’t imagine what sitting around all day and doing nothing would be like.

Boring? For sure.

But also how sad. When life no longer has a purpose, what’s the use in living?

I’ve been working hard on my twelfth novel the past six or eight months. I thought I was finished except for some minor revisions, but my agent  pointed out some major problems–major in terms of failing to grab the reader’s attention and make her want to keep reading.

Out of curiosity I asked a good friend who is a much more experienced writer than I am what she thought. She not only agreed with my agent–I’d expected that–she pointed out a problem my agent hadn’t mentioned.

So much for thinking my manuscript was almost complete and ready for my agent to pitch to a publisher.

I believe the purpose of life is to bring God pleasure. Not just in doing my best to live the way He wants me to, but by using the talents He’s blessed me with to the best of my ability. And that means continuing to sharpen my skills.  And not to be satisfied with less than I’m capable of doing on the current project, be it a novel or a new song.

It would have been far easier to ditch that twelfth novel manuscript and start something new than to make the necessary changes. But God didn’t create me to be a quitter. He wants me to press on until I can’t do any better. And thank goodness His Holy Spirit is living inside me, urging and helping me do my best.

That doesn’t mean I’ve finished making those changes yet. But I’m getting there.

It’s no wonder I enjoy life in spite of the fact my body–like everyone else’s–is in the process of deteriorating. My life still has purpose. And it will continue to do so as long as I keep pressing on.

What about you? Are you “pressing on” to reach a difficult goal because you believe it’s the right thing to do? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger