What is Your Life?


My Franklin Day Planner has an inspirational thought of the day. On this day there is this quote by Abraham Lincoln: “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

This quote caused my mind to race back over 37 years to a cemetery in Cartersburg, Indiana. Norma Jean and I sat by my parents and listened to Aude McKee offer the grave side eulogy for my twenty-three year old brother, Bill.

Even in the midst of heart-breaking grief and tear filled eyes, I can still remember the three points he made. He said there are three kinds of people. Those who care about quantity of life, those who care more about quality of life, and those who care neither for quantity or quality. I’ve thought about those points through the years.  A lot.

(1) Some people are more concerned about quantity of life than they are quality of life. A long life may become more important than a well lived life. We are a culture that puts emphasis on good nutrition. Periodic medical checkups. And Exercise. Why? So we can live a long time!

Yet, the Bible raises the question in James 4:13, “What is your life?” While a variety of answers can be given, both good and bad, James answers the question by saying, “It is a vapor!” It appears. Then vanishes. Life is a mist that soon dissipates. A fog that disappears in the morning sun.

Many years, quantity of possessions, and large amounts of money are not the measure of a well lived life.

(2) Some live with no regard for quantity or quality. Our society is filled with folks who live with reckless abandon. Their lives are filled with indulgence. They waste their resources, abuse their bodies, and live with little regard for the consequences of their actions.

How tragic is it to see folks who squander their lives on things that are foolish and futile. Several years ago there was a series of ads by the UNCF to raise educational awareness and raise scholarships for African-American children. The by line of these ads was: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Indeed! And so is a life. A life that is God-given. Filled with promise. Potential. Possibilities.

(3) People who are more concerned with quality of life than they are with quantity of life enjoy a full life.  Quality directed people seek excellence. Are character focused. Value driven. Goal guided.

Thomas Carlyle once wrote, “The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder–a waif, a nothing, a no man.” Conversely, when we set our sails in the right direction, we can make a difference. Regardless of the length of our lives.

Quality-driven people who understand the purpose of life, realize three very important choices with which we are faced.

          ◆We can either live for self, or we can live for God. Living for God means following His word. Listening to His counsel. Following the footsteps of Jesus. And committing to His cause.

          ◆We can either live to achieve success or significance. Success by the world’s standards is often elusive. Ever changing. And often subject to subjective judgment. It often leaves one empty and unsatisfied. But significance speaks to that which has meaning. Such a life is not concerned about duration, but donation. It seeks to serve instead of being served.

          ◆We can either live for the here and now, or for the eternal. The fact is life will end. The Psalmist advised, “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Ps 90:12)

Wisdom says this world was come to an end. And all that is here will be left behind. Then what? Have I laid up treasures in heaven? Have I lived with a view to eternity? Has my mind been consumed with only this world, or have I lived with heaven on my mind?

What is your answer to the question…..what is your life?

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Life

7 responses to “What is Your Life?

  1. tommythornhill

    Some escellent thoughts. Quality is much better than quantity
    brotherly, Tommy Thornhill


  2. Linda Baughn

    Good thoughts Ken – reminded me of a comment you made at Gary’s funeral. Living life in all its fullness is measured by the quality of life.


  3. Ruth Conger

    I remember when Bill died. I felt so sad for Mattie. We had just gone through the same thing with Bruce and I knew just how hard it was for her as a mother.
    I’m not sure if Bill was a Christian at the time of his accident or not, but Bruce was not. That was the saddest part and left us in much torment. I would ask of you Ken, that you stress this to your young folks. In contrast was the life of my Dad, Tom Long, a devout Christian who died at age 79 of a heart attack.
    I look forward to your message daily. Thanks Ken. Ruth Conger


  4. I’m curious to find out what blog system you’re utilizing?
    I’m having some minor security issues with my latest website and I’d like to find something more safe.
    Do you have any suggestions?


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