I thought for a moment yesterday about the gravity of a national holiday that celebrates U.S. service women and men who fell in battle. The lives of fathers and mothers, sons and daughters that gave their lives in the honorable pursuit of defending a nation and its values.
This weekend, I got into a spirited discussion with a friend who, in the name of Memorial Day, wanted to push everyone to proclaim what they were willing to die for. What are you willing to die for? Seems unnecessarily harsh, and for most people a question that they never have to put to the test like soldiers do. The better question for most of us is, what are we willing to live for? And I don’t mean what obligations are you willing to fulfill, but truly, what are you and I willing to wake up thinking about providing service to. What are we willing to give all our genius, energy, prayers, life and love to? See, dying, as morbidly natural as it is, is sometimes easier to do than living.
When you and I live for something, we have to show up everyday. Let's be clear. Living is not the same as living for something. Some of us are just existing, no purpose to waking up except completing a set of mundane tasks that get us a mundane check; doing what I have to in order to go home and do nothing. True living is acknowledging the preciousness of each moment and the power we have to create something with that moment. Living for something is the ultimate expression of service and love. But in order to live for something, we have to kill or allow other things around and in us to die. And let's be honest, that is not always the easiest thing to do.
Here is what I mean:
If we want to live for love, we have to stop hating on everybody.
If we want to live for peace, why do we go to war with so many folks who are not even our enemy?
If you want to be a husband, you've got to kill the player (you better preach to yourself, Jeff).
If you want to live for your kids, you can’t kill your own life. Kill the lie that says you can't have one.Your kids will look to your life to define what real living is.