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Live While You Live

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Live while you live. It’s a statement that I first saw when we were touring colleges with my daughter. The tour guide was walking us through the library and drawing our attention to the right side of the room, but the Holy Spirit drew mine to the left. There were quotes engraved in stone all around the room, and this was one of them.

“Live while you live.”

It worked itself deep into my core. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I’m not sure that I heard much else of the tour after that because I was practically meditating on this one sentence.

I looked it up when I had a spare minute. It is the first line of a poem written by Phillip Doddridge in the 18thcentury. It’s about cherishing each moment of our lives, and truly living the life here on earth that God has given us. It really made an impact on my heart and my outlook on how I was living life. It is in my thoughts often and is sometimes part of my self-evaluations at the end or beginning of a month.

Just recently I met a wonderful couple on a river cruise. They had decided to take this “trip of a lifetime” together and with other family members to celebrate life. The wife is dealing with some significant health concerns. Without ignoring them, they didn’t want to focus on them. She wanted to focus on living every minute she could, and I was so taken away with that idea. We spent the week together on this boat, taking some meals together, chatting at the end of the day about any number of things over a cup of tea, even winning a trivia game with the help of our kids. They were living while they live!

One morning I was reading a reflection about how much we say that we would die for the people we love. The combination of reading that article and spending so much time with people who were living while they live helped me to see that I was not living, and hadn’t been for a long time. I spent a lot of time in reflection about this, and the Holy Spirit placed the idea in my mind that maybe instead of focusing on dying for those that we love, we should focus on living for those that we love. Truly living. Cherishing every moment that God has given us and created us for.

Marveling at the dragonflies in the early morning sunlight.

Relishing the sounds of a family gathered together in celebration.

Delighting in a good and nourishing meal with a friend.

Most of all, paying attention to the things that light me up. Taking action on the desires that God places on my heart. These are the things that God wants to use to help me do His work. As a child of God, it is important for me to not only find joy in what God provides, but also to allow others to see my joy in using the gifts He gives. Yes, life is busy. It can be hectic sometimes, but if we only allow ourselves to take part in the day-to-days and must-dos we aren’t allowing ourselves to partake in the fullness of life that was designed for us.

Learn a new language.

Take that dance class you’ve always wanted to.

Try all of those recipes that look so good in the cookbook.

Do something that lights you up, and do it for His glory, with praise and thanksgiving in your heart and on your lips. The world needs to see it! We are surrounded by the frustration, ugliness, and sadness of the world. But as children of God we are filled with His joy, and love, and gladness, and we need to show it! So go on! Live while you live! Embrace this life and all that He designed for you. Wholeheartedly. Unapologetically. Joyfully. And for Him.

“Live while you live," the Epicure would say, "And seize the pleasures of the present day." "Live while you live," the sacred Preacher cries, "And give to God each moment as it flies." Lord, in my views let both united be;

I live in pleasure, when I live to Thee.

Phillip Doddridge

Wishing you Love and Light!


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