For the past several months, we have enjoyed visiting new places, traveling to different countries, worshiping with the brethren, and sharing the Word whenever we can.
These opportunities have allowed us to revel in the beauty of God’s creation. Experience tasty food. And learn about the customs of local people. Costa Rica has been no exception.
One of the terms we learned this week from our new friend and guide, Edgar, is the local expression “Pura Vida” (pronounced poo-rah vee-dah). Literally translated it means “simple life” or “pure life.” In Costa Rica, we’re learning it’s more than a saying–it’s a way of life.
Costa Ricans, who call themselves Ticos, use this term in response to “How are you?” To say “hello.” “Goodbye.” “Everything’s great.” “It’s cool.” It is expressive of their approach to life. To them, “Pura Vida” is a simple, relaxed and happy way of living. It’s an attitude. An emotion. No worries. No hassles. No stress.
According to one source, the expression originated “from a Mexican movie called ¡Pura vida! that came to Costa Rica 1956. In the movie, ‘pura vida’ is the saying used by the main character who remains optimistic, despite unfortunate circumstances that continue to surround him.”
It occurred to me that the Christian life ought to be one of “Pura Vida.”
In his Mountain Message Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life.” Food, clothing, and shelter ought not to preoccupy your thinking. If God provides for the birds of the air, He will take care of you. He concluded this section by saying, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt 6:25-34).
There are two days we cannot do anything about. Yesterday and tomorrow. The past cannot be changed. And the future is uncertain. Oh, we can correct mistakes we’ve made. Ask forgiveness. Change our course. But we cannot alter the record of the past.
Likewise, we can be prudent in our decisions today. In the habits we develop. How we use our time. What we read. And who we associate with. We can exercise wisdom in financial planning. Eat healthy. Exercise regularly. And get adequate sleep. Yet, outside circumstances, beyond our control can impact us physically and financially.
The apostle Paul issued this advice for living a worry free life.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7).
Why worry when you can pray? “I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.” An attitude of submission, thanksgiving and trust in the Lord will calm our souls, guard our hearts, and provide peace of mind.
Too often in our rush and sometimes greed to obtain more things we become discontent, disillusioned, and even despondent. The apostle who had experienced both joys and disappointments of life said,“I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.” He called it “the secret of living.”
Our expectations, future hope and ultimate destiny is not wrapped up in the “cares of this world.” The world’s ambition can choke out the Word and leave us unfruitful in God’s eyes (Mk 4:19).
Instead, we enjoy God’s blessings. Appreciate the opportunities given to us. Cherish our relationships. Embrace the fellowship of our brethren. And give thanks to God for all things.
We can live. Laugh. And love. All the while “pressing toward the prize before us.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman