A Meaningful Life

Volunteering

By Dawn Onley

I don’t fear death.

When it’s my time to go, I’ll go. There’s a peaceful serenity that is settled within me, drawn from an indisputable fact: we all must die. Granted, the older I get, the thought of my loved ones dying still saddens me.

It’s been almost a year since my grandmother passed. I miss her. Her sassiness and common sense. How she bragged on her family and made us each feel so special. I recently came across a picture of her on the day my parents got married. There she was, smiling at them, looking as proud as can be, and then some.

Love is hauntingly beautiful yet melancholy at the same time. Every day we live, brings us one step closer to death. The people we love we will someday lose. To be blessed with old age and longevity comes at a price. The longer we are on this Earth and the longer people love us, the more deeply they hurt when we’re gone.

It’s still better to have loved. There would be no fond memories without love.

In the past, I have dreaded saying goodbye to family and friends, and I already mourn the thought of future farewells.

Still, my own mortality doesn’t frighten me. Sure, when my swan song is played, I will bemoan that earthly life will be no more. I love life so I will certainly miss it. But in an odd sort of way, I find reassurance in knowing not how it will end, but that it will. I find solace in my faith that there is life on the other side, and that I will someday see my loved ones who have passed on.

What I fear is something more elusive than death. I fear not living up to my God-given capabilities. That’s what keeps me up at night, on occasion, tossing and turning restlessly. This thought of not fulfilling the promise that God put inside of me, and dying with unused talents and purpose that could have been used to uplift His kingdom and to push as much good out into the world as humanly possible.

Being all I was created to be and walking boldly in my birthright.

The Dash

I’m a Christian and a catechism of my faith requires that I give an account of my time on Earth someday before God. I wonder whether He will be pleased with how I spent my dash.

I always awaken from these restless thoughts recommitting myself to doing God’s work here and now, using my voice to uplift instead of tear down, planting seeds of triumph instead of weeds of defeat, walking in light and good works in a world filled with gloom.

Backing up my faith by bettering mankind.

At these moments, I’m reminded of James 2:14-17. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

We will all die. Before I do, I want to live in the most meaningful way.

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