Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

August 14, 2005


Laugh often, live fully, and love deeply because life is short


          Evidently some people think they will never die. They live as though there will always be a tomorrow. They ignore the fact that time runs out at some point for every person.

          Most young adults must believe they will live forever judging from the way they drive on the highways. They drive recklessly without any concern for their own safety or the safety of others. It causes old codgers like me to think we may be risking our lives when we join the race on the interstate highways these days.

          As people mature and grow older, some of them slow down and begin to ask important questions about life. What is it all about anyway? Why are we here? What really matters? What is the difference between me and a dog or a horse? Those who refuse to grapple with such questions never really learn the meaning of life.

          Life has very little meaning for some people. Here and there I see a man or a woman whose whole existence is tied up in a cat or a day. Relatives are few, friends are scarce, and each new day brings no more noble purpose than to eat some soup and feed the cat or the dog. Day after dragging day is devoted to television, soup, and dog food. Life for those individuals must be little more than waiting to die.

          Other people are on the move, racing here and there, buying and selling, building and expanding, and trying somehow to be winners in this dog-eat-dog world. They buy and sell gadgets, use people, step on people, run over people, while struggling to realize the American dream.  Their goal is to have the best car, the best house, the best boat, the best motor home, the best lake home, and the best school for their kids.

          Now and then as a pastor I have the sheer joy of talking to a man who has begun asking himself, “Is this all there is?” When that happens, my heart skips a beat. What joy I find in sharing heart to heart with a man who says, “There must be more to the Christian life than taking up space on a pew Sunday after Sunday. Will you help me become more than a superficial church member?”

          One such man shared this concern with me. “I realize there is no real connection between what I do on Sunday and the life I am living as a businessman the other six days of the week. I am not sure how to live a godly life as a husband and father in my home. I am tired of just spinning my wheels in life; I want to learn how to live for God, to live a godly life all the time.” Silently I thanked God for the honor of sharing my heart with this brother.

          When a man begins to want to live a godly life, you know he is on the way to discovering what life is all about. Television, soup, and dog food are not enough to satisfy the gnawing feeling in the soul that there must be a grand purpose for our brief span of life.

          Life is surely designed for more than toys and things. The joy of toys simply does not last. Sooner or later the human spirit cries for MORE! And there is more to life than stuff.

          We can learn to love people and use things. We can learn to laugh more than we cry or whine. We can learn to live fully each moment of every day, squeezing all the joy possible from every experience. We can delight in a butterfly, a sunset, the smile of a child, or the embrace of a caring friend.

          If we are wise, no matter what obstacles we face, we will find a way to laugh a lot, live fully, and love deeply for life is short. Then, at the end of the day, we will have peace instead of regret about the way we chose to live our allotted days. + + + +