Over the last couple weeks I’ve had too many friends of friends my age drop dead… a couple with no notice and a couple after lengthy illnesses. Then there is Steve Jobs. It all stirs the pot and raises the question for me…
“How should we then live?”
Life is precious. It is fleeting. It’s not a dress rehearsal. And, it’s easy to say… “live in the moment” or make statements like “stop to smell the flowers”… but it’s harder to define a specific strategy for how to live or define a target to shoot for. Perhaps the question is more about laying down a set of rails, principles, or guidelines, by which we navigate the onslaught of day to day decisions. Similar to “values” but with a little more teeth, or specificity, to help us make the decision of going left, or right, or more likely the ever so slight left or momentary veer to the right. My sense is our lives are lived in the bob and weave of the here and now. Achievement of some sort of change or progress then is only noticed when we stop and take a look back on the trail to see how we have in fact changed, or grown. All of which benefits from the time of reflection on the “how.” And, it seems like “how” I lived as a young dad or career professional morphs as I age and the chapter pages turn and the beliefs I held dear are questioned.
Nice reflections after a day at Thoreau's Walden Pond near Concord in Massachussets.
(And, for more on the idea... consider reading Dr. Francis Schaeffer's "How Should We Then Live?" 50th Anniverary edition. 2005. Crossway Publishing, Wheaton, Illinois.