Most people would have to agree that those who are buried ten feet under the ground are dead and everyone else is living: I disagree. Everyone on earth is going to die eventually but some may live their life without ever truly being alive. Although the dictionary deffinitions of alive and living are exactly the same, to me these two words ultimately have different meanings. Being alive is just simply letting everyday pass without knowing what a person is meant to do on earth. On the other hand, living is waking up everyday with a purpose and a reason for being here on earth. So many people go day to day without wondering why they are here, or what they are meant to do on earth, if they are supposed to do anything at all. At first I was one of those people, but now I see how amazing it is to truly live life to its fullest extent.
When I was young my family always went to church and I went to Sunday school. At the time I thought it was just all fun and games. As I got older, we stopped going to church and it didn’t faze me at all as I only went because it was fun. After all, I was doing everything a child should be doing: playing outside, using my imagination, and playing with friends. How should I know I wasn’t living?
In the middle of my eighth grade year, my best friend’s mom was diagnosed with some rare form of cancer. Day after day my friend seemed to stay strong and I was wondering how she did it. I always thought that when something like this happened, you were supposed to be sad pretty much all the time. I was very curious to know what it was that she had that allowed her to continue on everyday. After talking with her she told me that her family had started going to church. At first I was a little confused; I never thought that just by going to church you could learn to deal with something of this magnitude. It just didn’t make any sense to me.
As time went on, her influence on me helped convince me to make the decision last year to follow Jesus. Since I rejoined the church I feel like I am finally living.
Choosing to follow Jesus at first didn’t seem to change anything in my life, but as time went on I began to realize I was a completely different person. And now when tough times come around it is much easier to find positive solutions to problems. Most people get frustrated when things don’t go their way, but I learned to rely on the fact that everything happens for a reason. It’s clear to me now how important it really is to have God in your life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.