How many times did I travel the I35 bridge over the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul? The recent collapse and personal stories that rise from the wreckage made me think of two things as I read this morning's paper. First, families are experiencing the mourning of unexpected loss. None of us know when the bridge will break beneath us and life will come to a sudden end. Carpe diem.
Second, I imagine the mourning of unfulfilled mission. This is the unfortunate effect of the first cause for many people. Thinking that tomorrow will surely yield another opportunity, they put off doing the thing they were made to do today. Carpe manana.
Consider my friend that I recently heard from. He and I met over scrambled eggs and coffee more than a year ago. He's a top-notch businessman, strategic thinker and passionate follower of Jesus. But, he had not been able to unscramble his life mission. I just received word that he and his wife have taken a position as camp managers of a Young Life camp in New York state. Why? Because he knows that this is what he was made for. He is leaving cash, comfort and community behind to live life on purpose. Carpe diem.
I have one life to live. Only one. Bookended between arrival and departure, I have time on loan to do what I was created to do. It's not like a shovel that I have borrowed from a neighbor or a video that I have rented for the weekend and is due back in two days. Life is a finite amount of precious time that must be seized deliberately, passionately, fully.
In John 17:4, Jesus said, "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." And, on the cross, He said, "It is finished." That's different from the words many others might ask: "Is it finished?" I want to worship God by living on purpose. Carpe diem. Soli Deo Gloria!