Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 31: Gotta Live Like We're Dying

In the 2008 film Seven Pounds, aeronautical engineer Tim Thomas is fighting a troubled past. Two years ago, while texting and driving, he causes a collision, killing his fiancee and six strangers in a minivan. Unable to rewrite history and save the seven lives taken by the fatal accident, he goes on a mission to save seven other lives.

(Quick disclaimer: I'm certainly not in agreement with the film's take on suicide. My husband Anthony and I saw this movie with another couple, and the lady I saw this movie with said she was so saddened by the ending. Her heart -- and mine -- broke over the fact that this character didn't seek forgiveness and redemption in Jesus, but tried to find it by taking his physical life.)

But the spiritual principal in this movie is amazing. Tim Thomas spent his final days on earth searching for people who needed a new lease on life. At his death, he planned to donate several of his vital organs to people that would die soon without transplants. He gave his life away to save the lives of others.

And shouldn't this be the purpose of every Christian? God calls us to give our lives away.

How do we do this? We live like Tim Thomas did: we have to live like we're dying.

Kris Allen, the 2009 finalist of American Idol (also a believer and a resident of Conway, Arkansas, my new home, by they way) has a great song: Live Like We're Dying. Here's a sample of the lyrics:

Our hearts are hungry for a good that won't come
And we could make a feast from these crumbs
And we're all staring down the barrel of a gun
So if your life flashed before you, what would you wish you would've done?

Yeah, we gotta start lookin' at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got, then we gotta start thinkin'
If every second counts on a clock that's tickin' 
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86 400 seconds in a day to 
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell 'em that we love 'em while we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

I'll add one more line to Kris' song: Like Tim Thomas, we've gotta live like they're dying too. 

People the world over are dying. Some are dying of hunger and malnutrition. Others are dying in wars that seem to never end. Others are dying natural deaths, but they're dying and spending an eternity separated from God. What would God have us do? We've gotta live like they're dying.

If you're like me, you're wondering, how can I do this? I can't save everyone dying of starvation. I can't stop wars in foreign countries. I can't tell the whole world about Jesus. I hear you. But let's take a look at what we can do:
  • Pray for those around the world that are dying from starvation, ravaging diseases and oppression by other people groups
  • Pray for those that have yet to discover Christ's love for them
  • Pray about how you can get involved in God's activity in your community and around the world (the possibilities are limitless: short term missions, joining the fight against human trafficking, giving financially to organizations that send aid to suffering people around the world, pursuing volunteer opportunities with parachurch ministries and community organizations, mentoring a young person in your church or community, considering full time ministry)
While pursuing your specific purpose in Christ, never lose sight of each believer's responsibility to give our lives away to hurting and dying people around us. My personal prayer right now is discovering how I can use my writing to empower others in financial and/or spiritual need.

As I complete this final day of "31 Days of Purpose," I do so with joy and sadness. I'll miss this daily time with you. I'll miss pouring myself out through my blog every day. And I'll miss seeing God move mightily when I stare at my blank computer screen with the cursor flashing on and off. He has written far more words these last 31 days than I have. And for that, I am grateful. Believe me, I never really have much to say.

Please join me in the upcoming months every Tuesday and Saturday as I continue to share God's thoughts for you and I. I've got a feeling in my spirit like there's so much more to say! So sign up to receive an email of each post. And join my list of "Followers." I'd love to know you're reading. Please tell your friends to check out my blog and keep the comments, emails and facebook messages coming. I love hearing how God is speaking to you through my blogs. Makes me know it's really Him speaking through me.

I leave you today with I Give Myself Away by William McDowell. I've posted it before, but it really sums up the desire to walk in God's purpose for us.

Wherever you are on your journey to purpose, choose each day to give yourself away to Christ and to those He died a heinous death for.

Our lives are not our own. To Him we belong. Let's give ourselves away...

Purposed For Him,



  1. I love this song!!! Just sang it in church a few Sundays back. Thank you for such a wonderful journey toward purpose, Carla! You're such a blessing. xoxo

  2. I love the encouragement and practical ways to put purpose in things that seem so out of reach. Your blogs have been a blessing Carla - You are a blessing.

  3. Monique! Thanks for "grafting" me in on 31 Days. It's been a wonderful journey. I'll miss doing this with you Ladies every day, but I know the connection will remain! Btw, you're a double blessing!

  4. Jennifer, I've enjoyed following you this past 31 Days. I won't stop now! You are a real blessing too.

  5. Really an eye opening experience, Carla. I don't like to spend so much time on the computer because everytime I do (like for purchases or reviews of products and info on this or that) I end up spending more time than I have to spare and I get sidetracked. But this type of "sidetracking" has been sooo good for me. I have had convicting thoughts that have evolved from your posts and others' comments. I really feel like God used you (and will continue to use) to stir up minds for Him. My mind has been enlightened, so I will continue to look for your blog posts. Have a great week and hope to see you next Sunday at church. Blessings to you and your family and the emerging Mosaic Church of Conway :-)

  6. Thanks so much Zarina! You and I connected in mid-July, but you have been one my most supportive readers! I can't thank you enough for your detailed feedback. Like I said in my blog, it really does help me know God is speaking through me. You and your family were missed today. Blessings to you too!!!

  7. Carla, this was a great post to end our 31 days with! I have been blessed to walk along side you for the past 31 days! You have inspired me! I am glad we can still stay connected. I am praying for you and Pastor Anthony's new church building!