what is this life?

Lying in bed late at night, Bible propped open but with no desire to read it because I didn't want to be convicted about my pettiness... then waking up to sunshine streaming through the windows, so very ready for it to be a beautiful day, only to be slammed in the face with an excruciating emptiness, the rolling in of rainclouds, the utter cruelty of life for always insisting on going on.

I wonder how the human race has continued so long in such a despairing environment, with the clock ever ticking seconds off their lives. Someone said once, "The only way out of seeing everyone you love die by accident, murder, or disease is your own death by accident, murder, or disease."

What is this life? Why do we press on, doggedly, to achieve and accumulate as much as we possibly can, only at our deaths to be stripped of it all?

And if I am a Christian saved by the blood of Christ with a future in glory with Him and I'm still asking these things, how on earth have the hopeless and the godless not yet given up entirely?

Life. It's the very substance of our existence, the birthplace of our souls, the opportunity to prepare ourselves for eternity. And yet we treat it as petty until tragedy strikes and we realize how utterly we have squandered it.

Time. It's the cruel thing that will eventually take our life from us, while simultaneously it's our only meaningful asset. And yet we pretend it doesn't exist until tragedy strikes and we realize how utterly we have squandered it.

Love. He's the only One who saves us; the only Act that makes this wicked journey worth the walk to glory; the only riches we can take with us to our graves and beyond. And yet instead we fret about our money and our friends list and our self-esteem - until tragedy strikes and we realize how utterly we have squandered it.

This life is ugly, bitter, cruel - yes. But we have each been given a little time in which to lavish as much of Christ's unselfish love on our fellow men as we possibly can before it's too late - and in so doing, bring ourselves and others into an ever-closer walk with the Father, so that in the end it is only a short step across the threshold into eternity with Him.

If this is not what we build our lives on, then there is no point.

Hallie Liening

Olympia, WA

Hallie grew up on a small farm in rural eastern Washington. At 18, she moved across the country to go to Bible school, and then married the Boy Next Door at 20. Now 22, she is a graduate of Great Commission Bible Institute with a Certificate in Biblical Studies and resides in Olympia with her husband and her two cats. She survives the claustrophobia of living near the city by making frequent trips back home to visit her family and her horse, writing sentimental blog posts about the countryside, and by filling her house with photographs of Mt. Adams sunsets.