It feels a bit ridiculous writing about the phrase YOLO – the overused acronym for You Only Live Once – because of the associations that come with it. YOLO is the persuasion tactic yelled between friends in bars to shot that extra tequila, it’s the excuse for purchasing those shoes you will only wear once and the ironic slogan on a t-shirt I once saw worn by a girl in A&E.
But, it’s not all bad, or embarrassing. YOLO can be the motivation behind a bungee jump or the nudge you give a friend to ask ‘that someone’ out on a date – a seize-the-day catchphrase. I’m suggesting that there’s even more to it than that. I think it can be taken a step further and we should change YOLO from a throwaway comment used to excuse mistakes or motivation to take a risk into a reminder that we are given only one life. YOLO is not about focusing on living once; it’s about receiving the gift of life and choosing to live it to the full.
I reckon that we can only live to the full if we begin to look at life with an eternity perspective. So, suddenly YOLO isn’t a laughable term, but a way of viewing eternity – I realise this is a big jump.
Eternity is a huge concept. It’s something we cannot grasp, something we will never be able to comprehend, but it’s not something to be afraid of. It’s something that we should embrace and get seriously excited about. In 1 Corinthians 2:9-11, eternity is described like this: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” Eternity with all its wonder and mystery is quite literally beyond imagination. However, not understanding it does not mean we can just ignore it. The more we learn about the hope, excitement, security and joy of an eternity in heaven, the more we can make out of our life.
You Only Live Once, but you are going to live forever. Our lives become so much better once we are secure in where we are headed. Uncertainties and worries of trying to succeed and prove ourselves are replaced with promises of a future as we discover more about the joys and gifts that God intends us to have. I am not promising that we’ll suddenly feel immortal or never mess up ever again – we haven’t reached eternity yet – but having a secure hope for your future makes you appreciate the gift of life more. All efforts to make this life better and make the most of it are in vain until you get some grasp of eternity. How can you dream big if you do not believe that something amazing is waiting for you, how can you push yourself if you have no motivation or nothing amazing to aim for?
Maybe you regret not having more YOLO moments in 2014. I urge you to not just approach 2015 with plans to seize the day, but start the year choosing to look at the bigger picture. Once you’ve grasped that your inheritance is glory in heaven for eternity, you begin to live your life in a different way, not just sitting back waiting for something to happen, but trying to reach your potential. YOLO, so let’s make it the best life possible.
This is part of our REVERSE RESOLUTION series. Every day this week we are taking a refreshing look at new resolution you shouldn’t take up this January. You’re welcome.