I’m on the mailing list for every knick-knack, t-shirt, and kitschy gift company. Routinely, my mailbox is stuffed with catalogs that peddle everything from tree faces to garden gnomes. The other day, I thumbed through one catalog while enjoying my morning coffee. I came across a quote that made me smile.
“Life, wow what a ride!” The plaque takes the point even further and suggests that we bail on our obsession to preserve our bodies. Abandon the nip-and-tuck standard. “Skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, Wow, what a ride!” In life, we’re meant to be used up.
I know the quote is really subtitled carpe diem – seize the day. Go for the gusto. Eat, drink, and be merry. Live it up. And the clichés go on and on.
But something else came to mind when I read those words. In my mind, I saw a little old lady who truly appeared worn out. I thought of a real woman who had skidded into home base broadside and probably said “Wow, what a ride,” as she stepped into eternity.
This woman bailed on plastic surgery. I doubt that she ever had a manicure or paid fifty dollars for a pair of shoes or thumbed through a Christmas catalog and squandered her time looking at kitschy, cornball Christmas presents in a high gloss catalog.
No, this woman was the epitome of one who entered eternity totally worn out. Not by song or dance. Not by drink or drug. Not by self-obsession, but rather by self-denial.
She is one who entered eternity worn out for Jesus Christ. Her name? Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. She believed the meaningful life is the life lived for others. And she let herself be used up for everyone else.
What a wonderful way to go out with gusto. For that matter, what a wonderful way to walk into eternity with a fair bit of gusto as well. Lord, teach my heart to have that desire. Make me willing to be totally worn out for you.
It’s not about preserving myself so that I look good for the undertaker. And it’s not even about living life to the fullest for my own enjoyment.
It’s about living a life for others – and knowing that whatever I do for the least of these, I do it for the Lord. Wow, what a ride!