Summary: Deciding to live today for Jesus.

A Tale of Living

Making the most of today

Matthew 25:14-30

One thing about life that really seems to puzzle me is how much time and energy go into getting ready to live. Look at even the events of the last few days. An all-out effort to make sure that this Christmas would be something special, but was it enough? Today thousands are going to hit the malls and strip malls across the country in search of that ‘great deal’ because that is the one thing will make life what it was meant to be. This idea goes way beyond the holiday season. Think about it. We attend just enough school to get us into the right job so we can make just enough money so we can really start to live. We work said number of hours every week so enough funds continue to come in making it possible to afford the type of comfortable housing we need or the right car to drive so we can live. We constantly fill our lives with more and more things or more and more activities to make living a possibility. Then we add a few more hours to our workweek in order to make a little more money so we can get that other house in the mountains or at the beach. We fill that home with more and more stuff and when we finally get finished we know we’ll be able to settle down and really live. Is it just a vicious cycle where no one seems to really win? This pattern is all too popular and the whole chance at living becomes less and less the focus.

In my life it looks a lot like my home projects. No sooner do I finish one (if you can call it finished) and I feel the need to get started on another one, because then, once that next project is complete, I’ll be able to sit back, relax and really start to live. (Story:) A wealthy businessman was disturbed to find a fisherman sitting lazily by his boat. "Why aren’t you out there fishing?" he asked.

"Because I’ve caught enough fish for today," said the guy.

"Why don’t you catch more fish than you need?" asked the businessman.

"What would I do with them?"

"You could earn more money, and buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. Then you could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish, and make more money. Soon you’d have a fleet of boats and be rich like me."

The guy asked, "Then what would I do?"

"You could sit down and really enjoy life."

The fisherman paused for a moment looking out over the water then replied, "What do you think I’m doing now?"

Living appears to be an all-illusive dream. A dream everyone is working toward but also a dream everyone is waiting for. Ponder for a minute the final days of this millennium and the almost ‘hold your breath’ mentality that so many have. The waiting game has started so ‘cross your fingers and hope for the best.’ Truth is this game is not just about whether or not the world is going to fall apart. This kind of thinking has arrested the lives of so many when it comes to the whole idea of living. "When I get this done, then I’ll enjoy life." "Just a few more years and I’ll be set financially, then I’ll really be able to live." "If I could just get done with school." "Oh, when I find that right person, my life will be complete." Or "when I get rid of this wrong person then my life will be complete." I think it’s a diversion tactic used to keep us off the true problem. You see we get so focused on just the symptoms, rarely being honest enough with ourselves to look at the truth.

During the late 70’s & early 80’s most of society had a problem with seeing the truth. The truth that I’m speaking of is the difficulty we all had with fashion. Why in the world did we think we could leave our homes looking like we did? Someone should have passed a law putting most of us on house arrest, thus sparing our children the kind of embarrassment that could severely hinder their development. Now, if you’re one who is still in denial about those years I want you to take a look at a few pictures I dug up this week of people you will definitely recognize. Then ask yourself if that person was a little unclear about how they looked. (Pictures) Sometimes the truth is the most difficult thing to see. When it comes to our lives and the experience of living, for the most part we struggle with the truth. Our ideas on what makes life really life, lead us away from the truth, leaving us to wrestle with a temporary fix to a lifelong need. I would dare to say that for all of us we desire, down in our gut, to live the kind of lives that could only be defined by the word ‘great.’ We don’t want to settle for ‘ok’ or even ‘good.’ We truly want our lives to matter, where significance and meaning spring up from the inside with no coercion. We want to know that who we are is making a difference and right in the middle of all of it we want to sense that every moment is real and fun. When living gets broken down into words like these there comes with it an almost singular vision. A vision that grows in the heart of every man, woman, girl and boy. A vision for living life completely undistracted with an inner resolve to make the most of every moment. Yet, in all the grandeur of this youthful idealism, week follows week, month follows month and this desire looses ground to an old, more common, way of existing.

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