Yolo – You Only Live One (But if you do it right, once is enough)
On a talk show in the 70’s Muhammed Ali is asked (what I assumed to be) a simple question, What Are You Going To Do When You Retire. While some may have answered with a (again what I would assume to be) a typical answer like: relax, play golf, enjoy spending time with my grandchildren and so on. Instead Ali responds saying, get ready to meet God. Muhammed Ali expands on this a bit explaining how things like hair, and money are transient, here one moment but can be gone the next. There are no guarantees in life. You may live to be sixty years, you may live to be eighty years or you may die tomorrow, nothing is promised in this life. Ali explains that what God is looking for is how we treat others, sometimes no one else may see it but God sees us.
Immediately after watching this clip I thought of an illustration I saw Francis Chan use in a sermon. Francis Chan uses a rope as an example of our lives in view of eternity and he says the tiny tip at the end is our life here on earth and that determines our existence for eternity. But so many of us get so consumed in planning for the second half of that little tip of the rope instead of planning for eternity.
As Christians we need to start thinking long-term, we need to look beyond this temporary life to the long term life we will have after earth. If we really allowed the fact that life is more than these few years on earth would we live life differently? Would we, as Muhammed Ali said, treat others differently? Does the church need to change how they view and treat others?
Perhaps the church has done a poor job at viewing others the way God views them. God is making a new humanity and as Christians we need to treat others according to the humanity they can have in Jesus, not the attitude they are portraying to us.
Although I do not fully agree with Muhammed Ali, God is not simply looking at how we treat others. But that is a good start. The two greatest commandments are to Love God, and Love People. What difference could we make if Christians started living this way? And if we truly love others would we be more convicted to share the true message of Christ?
We only live once, so do it right the first time. It’s all you get.