Is it true that “Life is what you make it”?

“This life only comes round once, son, and we only get one shot at it, so give it all you’ve got, because life is what you make it.”

But what’s the most that anyone can make of this life? Suppose we grew up in a perfect home full of fun and healthy food, we had dozens of friends and the finest schools, and money enough to develop every talent we’ve got, followed by a lucrative career, happy marriage, successful kids, endless travel around the world, and we even became famous because of our exploits and community service. In other words we had a great life, and we made the most of it.

And what happens? We end up in a box surrounded by grieving people. None of what we accomplished, accumulated and crafted to live this life to the full goes with us. Others may benefit from what we accomplished and did for people – and our legacy may remain for centuries – but when we die it’s all over for us, personally. The enjoyment, the challenges, the friendships, all our success stories and memories – all of them end for us.

So “Life is what you make it,” eh? Seems like a poor investment of time and energy when it all fizzles out in the end. Would I buy a house with my life-savings if I knew in thirty years time it would self-destruct into a pile of useless rubble, and I’m on the street with nothing? So why invest my best efforts in a life that doesn’t last?

“Well,” comes the reply, “what else are we supposed to do? While we’re here we might as well make the most of it.” And I couldn’t agree more. We’ve got this amazing miracle throbbing away in our bodies called life, so wouldn’t it be worth everything we’ve got trying to figure out how we got it – and why?

Which, to me, is where Jesus comes in. If anyone knows what to make of life, he does, because he made human life in the first place, and then he lived it himself. He was the first to make of human life what could be made of it. He not only lived life as God meant it to be lived, he also lived a life that lasted beyond death, neither of which ANY other human has been capable of doing. That’s why Jesus came as a human to live what we couldn’t, and now lives what we can’t in us. My life now, therefore, can become what Jesus made of life, which is exactly what God gave us life for, to share in Christ’s life as he lives it.

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