Tuesday, May 22, 2012

About living life as long as we are alive: Reflections on John 10:10, with a list of lifespans, an observation and a Max Lucado quote.

SCRIPTURE: John 10:10 (TM)
A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

STORY - a lifespan list compiled by Frank Kendrig and Richard Hutton:
Experts estimate that if a normal cassette tape is played about 100 times a year, sound quality will deteriorate somewhat after about 10 years. But the tape itself will play on. 
A lightening bolt lasts 45 to 55 microseconds. 
The average running shoe worn by the average runner on an average surface will last 350 to 500 miles.  A hard pencil can write up to 30,000 words or draw a line more than 30 miles long. 
Most ballpoint pens will draw a line 4,000 to 7,500 feet long. 
Leather combat boots have a wartime life span of six months, a peacetime life span of eight months (The army walks during war and peace.)
The projected life-span of a baby born in the U.S. today is about 71 years, nearly double what it was at the end of the 18th century. 
The longest authenticated lifespan of a human being is 113 years, 214 days. 
Studies show married people live longer than those who remain single. 
A group of subatomic particles known as unstable hadrons exists for only one one-hundred-sextillionth of a second (10 to the negative 23 second)--less time than it takes light to travel a single inch. 
A 100-watt incandescent bulb will last about 750 hours; a 25-watt bulb, 2,500 hours. 
The number of times a light bulb is turned on and off has little to do with its life-span. 
A one-dollar bill lasts approximately 18 months in circulation. 
Practice footballs used by professionals last two to three days--a playing life of perhaps five hours. 
Home teams are required to provide 24 new balls each game and these last only about six minutes of playing time.
Everything has a lifespan, but the more important lifespan is that of us humans. The Bible speaks of the human lifespan as three-score and ten … Psalm 90:10 (TM) “We live for seventy years or so (with luck we might make it to eighty), and what do we have to show for it? Trouble. Toil and trouble and a marker in the graveyard.” What a “pleasant” thought to have our lifespan reduced to a number, to a list of difficulties and a gravestone… nothing more… nothing less. Even if we live to be 100, which more and more people are doing these days, still … a lifespan marked by what? A number? Trouble? Heartache? Grave marker? Whoopi!!!

Richard Evans hits the mark as he states: The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” The other quote that I like to refer to often … and I can never remember who said it … but it goes something like this: “Many die when they are in their forties, they just hang around until they are 80 to exit this life.” In either case, it is tragic to be so close to living and miss out – to either just hang on until ones body gives out or make the discovery about the joy of living so late in life.

Could it be the half-empty/half-full syndrome? We can concentrate on what is wrong with our life, how tragic it has been, how we have been misunderstood, what has been taken away from us (our joy, hobbies, etc.) – the half-empty portion of the syndrome – that we become miserable, angry all the time. It is the old blame-game that we play and boy, do we play that game well. We know all the rules and we stay angry at those around us and at life itself. In reality we push away the very people that love us. Yes, maybe these individuals don’t give the kind of love and support that we desire, need, or want, and moving beyond the hurt can be difficult, but the half-full portion of the syndrome is a lot better.

The half-full part is celebrating what we do have, the love that is shown, the support that is given, the life that we do have, the joy that is in our life. By concentrating on the life that we are living we make the discovery of joy – God’s joy – that is there all along. The side effect is that more we celebrate what we do have the more is grows. It is like watering a plant – don’t water it and it will die, water it a little and it stays alive, but doesn’t grow … water it and fertilize it and it will grow and flower beyond our imagination. Allowing God’s love (the Miracle Grow fertilizer of life and joy) to work in us brings about abundant life well beyond our imagination. 

We don’t want to miss out on life while we exist, Lord. Help us come alive as long as we are still kicking. Move us beyond seeing what we’ve missed to embracing what we already have … and, by the way, Lord, thank you for putting those people in our life and the love that they do show to us.

QUOTE from Max Lucado, God Came Near, page 27:
To limit God’s revelation to a cold list of do’s and don’ts is as tragic as looking at a Colorado road map and saying that you’d see the Rockies.

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