August/September 2016 - Vol. 87

 time running out of hour
                            glass - illustration by Kevin Carden
‘Fragile’ Living
by Tom Caballes

For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 
- Hebrews 13:14 ESV
I could easily find a replacement for the broken part, but no – the tool was obsolete and no replacement parts were available. It was a valuable device one moment and a useless piece of junk the next. If I had known it was fragile, I would have taken better care of it. Now, if you really think of it, the lives that we live are fragile like that gadget – like glass, crystal and fine china. They can be here one day and gone the next. The same is true with our families and relationships. We live with an illusion that everything is just fine and dandy. The truth is, all of us live on borrowed time – and a disease, accident or something else can end our fragile lives – and relationships – in a moment. If you know you are living a fragile life, would you care better for it? How?

So How Do You Live a "Fragile" Life?

  1. Take good care of your physical body – your body needs regular exercise for it to work well. You need to habitually relax and rest your body, mind and soul. Take time for holidays and to celebrate special occasions in your life and those close to you. Develop good hobbies too – they help you relax your mind and soul.
  2. Take good care of your spiritual self – you need to take spiritual nourishment through prayer, teaching and reading the Word of God. … Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. [1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV]. Develop good and holy habits and grow in becoming more like Jesus – more loving, patient, joyful, self- controlled, etc. – day by day. Take time during the year to have a personal retreat. Seek God in all situations.
  3. Make the most out of your relationships – do not take people, especially those close to you, for granted. Make sure you love them, appreciate them and make peace with them. You will never know when your fragile life – or theirs – will come to an end. As much as you can, try to live with peace with everyone around you.
  4. Forgive and let go of the past. This is probably the hardest thing to do – but is also the most important one in living a fragile life. Do not let any ‘root of bitterness,’ resentment or anger fester in your heart. These things can affect our physical well-being but more so our spiritual well-being. Jesus clearly said, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart." [Matthew 18:35 ESV]
  5. Live a life with no regret. This is not about carefree, careless, foolish ‘you only live once’ things – rather, these are major life decisions you would not want to be ashamed of in the future. If you already have some mistakes and regrets in life, do not add to them but rather correct them if you can. See if you reclaim those things. Live a fully abundant life that Jesus came for [John 10:10]. One day, when your fragile life comes to its conclusion, [and it will!] may you hear these words: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:21 ESV]
Other Scripture passages:
  1. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. [1 Corinthians 9:24-27 ESV]
  2. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. [1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV]
  3. … What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. [James 4:14 ESV]
  4. Other references: 2 Timothy 4:6-8; Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 12:1-2; Philippians 3:20.
For personal reflection or group sharing
  1. What do I need to do to take better care of my fragile life? Who do I need to reconcile with? What do I need to do to have greater peace in my relationships, especially those close to me?
  2. Are there areas in my life that I have been careless in the past? Have I thought of living with a motto: “Fragile Life – Handle with Care?”
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.

"Time Running Out" illustration by Kevin Carden
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