Finding Your Life
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for me will ﬁnd it.
I’ve never been good at following directions, especially while driving my car. My internal compass left me confused, if not lost. When I became a Christian I suffered a similar fate—I found that the internal “life compass” I used before could no longer be trusted.
I discovered that in the kingdom of God, we usually have to go the opposite direction from the way the world is going. It’s like dying to live, giving to receive, sowing to reap—a paradox.
In the world, we grasp to get, we strive to live, and we try to reap without sowing. A farmer sows one seed to receive a plant that bears many new seeds. Nobody argues with that principle in farming or gardening, but in the rest of life it seems odd—as in how to find real life: We must die to ourselves in order to come alive to God. Jesus said we’re like seeds. We must die in order to spring forth into new life.
That paradox has to do with receiving eternal life, but it also applies to temporal life. We can only find meaningful life by dying to the world’s ways of finding it. Look around—people are doing everything they can to find themselves. They’re changing careers, changing marriage partners, changing their appearance, changing their medications, changing friends, houses, cars, wardrobes, religions . . . . We’re a culture in search of itself.
Finding your life by losing your life means to recognize that we were created for Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16). The moment we embrace Him, we find the secret to life: We give up searching for life in order to find the One who is life. We give up more of us in order to find more of Him. As Saint Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless, O God, until they find their rest in Thee.”
If your heart is restless, go the opposite way of the world and end your search in the arms of Jesus. That way you (and I) will finally be headed in the right direction.
Heavenly Father, Today I purpose to end the search for myself. Instead, I am going to invest myself in drawing closer to Jesus, knowing I will find my life as I experience His. Amen.