6 March, Sunday — Staying Relevant

1st Sunday of Lent

Deu 26:4-10
Rm 10:8-13
Lk 4:1-13

“With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.”

Medical science is allowing us to live longer with life expectancy going up steadily since the 1900s. During the Chinese New Year holiday I season, I observed many people wishing each other not only prosperity but also long life. And that got me thinking as to how long I would want to be alive, and what would I do if I ended up living to over a hundred years old.

In the struggle to make ends meet and to cope with the hectic pace of modern living, many people are merely existing and not thriving. We become conditioned by society to achieve milestones as indicators of success, and frequently benchmark ourselves against wrong yardsticks.

Jesus did not spend much time on earth and yet he achieved great things. There are also others who live for far too long as antagonists and burdens to those around them. Hence, we should consider the quality of our lives and not the number of years lived to be the yardstick by which God will assess us in the end.

I measure the quality of my life by the following metrics: 1) the number of close friendships that I have; 2) my contributions to my family and workplace; 3) my involvement in meaningful volunteer activities beyond work; 4) how small my environmental footprint is; and 5) how much effort do I put in to draw closer in relationship with God.

Related to point two, I also try to keep abreast of trends and developments in technology and society. I do not want to be labelled as the luddite who only talks about the good old days when policemen wore shorts.

There is no point living a long life if we are disconnected from society and do not have close relationships. While it takes effort to remain relevant, it is also deeply satisfying to learn new skills and to be the best that we can be.

If you desire long life or have been thus far blessed with one by God, I hope that you are making the most of it and go to bed each night satisfied with your work in God’s fields, and wake up eager to labour all over again.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Gregory Mathew)

Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for the courage to embrace the opportunities to grow and flourish that you bestow on us with each passing day.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Jesus for giving us the gift of life and the chance to experience your divine goodness.


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