Get a Life

Imagine you’ve spent years – your whole life, even – collecting seashells. You have a huge collection to show for it – starfish, sand dollars, sea urchins, conch shells, clam shells, everything. You’re pretty impressed with yourself.
The public is pretty impressed with you, too. You’ve broken a world record for biggest collection of seashells. You’ve got fame, money, and lots of dead starfish to look at.
Then, one day, your whole world shatters. Your visions of you living the perfect life are bombarded by one person who tells you, "Dude, get a life."
At first you laugh to yourself. What a dork. Of course you have a life – look at all you have! Everyone knows your name!
When you go home to your penthouse by the beach after a long day of, well, doing nothing but posing for pictures, you plop onto your bed. Your head hurts. You hear that dork’s voice again: "Get a life."
You sit up and look around you. You’re wearing designer clothes. You’ve got a house Oprah would be jealous of. Everyone knows who you are, and you’ve even written a book about, of course, yourself. Because you have a life. Or do you?
You start to wonder about it all. Did you really ever have a life? You had the American Dream. You had what this world sees as the perfect life – fame, fortune, and seashells. Yet as you look back, trying to remember the happiest times in your life, you find that life simply isn’t life without more.
Since the beginning of time, people have been searching for more. More is not something we define; instead, it is simply feeling complete. We were made to worship. That’s why there are so many different religions out there. We long for two kinds of beings: one that we can take care of, and one that can take care of us. If we don’t have that, than do we really have a life?
We need someone to worship. There are so someones out there – Buddha, Allah, God…can you think of any others? The tough part is that there can only be one all-powerful ruler of the universe, and that is God.
Pious Buddhists tend to be very detached from society and other people because they believe that by casting everything of this world away – including their love and emotions – they will reach Nirvana, a sort of Heaven for Buddhists. Nirvana, unlike Heaven, is a place where all feelings, emotions, love, and life are gone; Nirvana is a place of nothingness, of no feeling, which the Buddhists think is a blessing. The god of the early Vikings (before they converted to Christianity) made a sort of heaven where there was feasting every night and beautiful women took care of the men. The Vikings wanted to encourage people to become Viking warriors, so they said that only Viking warriors could go to this heaven. Allah, the Muslim god, may seem at first glance much like God Himself, but that impression does not last long. The Muslim’s holy book does not mention once that "Allah loves you" or anything like that. Allah is not a loving god – he is powerful, Muslims believe, but there is no love.
God is different. God is all-powerful, just like Allah. God made the world with great care, like Allah. God has created a heaven, except, instead of the Buddhist Nirvana, Heaven is a wonderful place where Christians live in cities of gold and where there is no sin but only joy and peace. Instead of the Viking paradise, anyone can go to Heaven, so long as they believe that God made the earth, that they are sinners, and that Jesus died so they could live. The biggest difference is that God loves us. God loves His creation. He finds us beautiful, despite our flaws. God is more.
When people search for "more", they are searching for God. They are searching for peace and joy, comfort and security, love and life. The problem? They don’t know that God is what they’ve been searching for all along!
People throughout history – the early Vikings (before they converted to Christianity) and the ancient Egyptians – had many gods. When a rich man died, a great funeral was held for him. The Vikings would build a huge boat and set it in a pit, and the Egyptians would builds magnificent tombs. The man was placed in the tomb or ship. The man’s servants would be led from the house to be killed and put into the boat or tomb. The man’s prized horse, dog, and all his valuable possessions accompanied him so that he would have everything he needed in the afterlife. What happened to the Egyptian tombs of the richest and greatest kings? They were robbed, stripped of all their gold and wealth.
Someone once said that life is what you can take into Heaven with you. You can’t take gold, money, the latest fashions, the coolest video games, the biggest house, the sports car, to Heaven. You can’t even take your body to Heaven! But you can take your spirit – which is who you really are – to Heaven. The stuff of this world – fame, money, cars, and the best hair in class or the best player on the team – none of it will last. The one thing that will last is your spirit, so obviously you need to take care of it.
In order for you to have life as the world defines it, you must have a beating heart. To have life as God defines it, you must have a loving heart. Life is nothing if you have no one to worship. You wouldn’t be alive if God hadn’t made you. Why not rejoice in that?
YOU, no matter how nerdy or unpopular you are, no matter how many times you’ve run into a door or have done wrong things, YOU have something that everyone on earth wants. Isn’t that amazing? And no, it’s not your hair, your muscles, your wallet, or your grades. YOU have life – the kind that doesn’t fade, the kind of life that lasts forever. You have more; more to live for.
When Jesus comes back to earth to claim His people (that means you!), how will you answer him? What will you say to him? What will you have to show that you have done what He made you to do?
Will you say, "Look, Lord. See my shells?" (Or, maybe for you, it’d be, "Look, Lord. See my money, fame, looks, games, car." Fill in the blank with what material thing you have been living for.)
That, my friends, would be your entire life – wasted.
This next week, thank God that you have a life – a life that lasts forever – and a future home in Heaven. Thank God that he made you, that he is a loving God and an all-powerful God. Try to show someone else that love that He has given you. Show someone else that they can have a true, eternal, meaningful life.


  1. Really thought provoking. Good job! =]


  2. Thanks! Yesterday I started writing it in a fit of inspiration and today before the play performance I finished it.

  3. I agree, totally.
    Nirvana would stink compared to heaven..
    I know that was not your point, but still.

  4. It really would!
    Buddhists believe in reincarnation, as you know, and so if you are a good person you may be a prince in another life. However, they believe that when you have truly reached "perfection" -- that is, you have removed all love from your heart and care for no one because to be enlightened is to not feel anything -- you go to Nirvana where you are nothing.

  5. Wow! That was so well put! And you forgot something about God. He is also personal.
    =) yeah, worldview's finally gotten to me!
    That was wonderfully well written!

  6. Very good, Melissa. You make me proud.


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