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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

A Life Without Living

In his book “Shows about Nothing”, Ben Patterson writes, “Americans are frantic about their leisure time”. This statement has always stuck with me as I think about the way my family and I went about vacations or recreation. We always did so at a frantic pace.

The idea was always to get as much in as possible with the limited amount of time we had. The irony is this is also how most of live our lives.

When we do, if we are not careful, we will be living “a life without living”.

You see, it is the busy way we go about our lives that can prevent us from living. In fact, the pursuit of the things, accolades, and personal acclaim many of us desire, may have taken the place of living entirely.

I know this to be true because as I survey my life, I can see many instances where the desire to achieve was more important than the quality of life I was living.

Striving to achieve a better life than my parents had many times prevented me from enjoying the life I have. The question is why? Why am I satisfied with my life the way it is?

The reason is, I have been conditioned to never settle, which has created “a life without living” for me.

There is a song by John Lennon that says, “people think I am crazy, doing what I’m doing”. He goes on to say, “I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round”.

It sounds like a life being wasted, doesn’t it? Well, what if we were to all take a step back and “watch the wheels go round”. Do you think we may see the fruitless nature in our desire for more?

I am not sure, but I am determined to find out. Having spent my entire adult life trying to achieve, I am beginning to realize I have been spending much of my life without truly living.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not suggesting we stop being productive or striving for a better life. I am, however, suggesting we don’t sacrifice living as we do.

This is important, because the truth is, in the end the one with the most stuff does not win. The one with the most stuff may be the one who loses the most. Because they forgot to live.

This is both a paradox and the beauty of life, because regardless of how successful we become, we will not be remembered for what we have. We will be remembered for who we are.

In my life I am hoping I am not remembered as someone who spent “a life without living”.

As with everything, the choices we make today will also determine how we live tomorrow.

The problem is, if we do not choose wisely, tomorrow may be too late!!

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”

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