Living the Ultimate Life Pt. 2 – Seize the Day
The scene is a prep school somewhere in New England. On a beautiful fall morning the bright young men have gathered in English Literature class, fearing the worst—long, boring hours arguing about Beowulf and the intricacies of iambic pentameter. But lo, it is not to be. Their teacher is brand-new, a graduate years ago of that same school. To him, English Literature is not about names and rhymes; it’s about life—living, dying, loving, caring, feeling. He aims somehow to impart the vision to his young charges.
Suddenly he says, “Follow me,” and leads the class out into the hallway, down to the glass cases that contain the pictures of former students, now long gone, grown up, many of them gone forever from the face of the earth. “Look,” he says, “Look closely, do you see them?” The pictures are old, cracked, faded, but you can still see them, the youthful faces of long-ago. “Look at them carefully. They were once young like you are. They had hopes and dreams just like you do. They had grand ideas too.” Then the teacher lowers his voice and says, “Listen, can you hear what they are saying?” The young men press closer to the glass as if to hear the voices of the past come floating up from the cracked and faded pictures. “They’re calling out to you. If you listen, you can hear them. They’re calling out “Carpe diem.” These young men don’t know Latin, so the phrase is a mystery to them. “Carpe diem,” they mumble to each other. “Yes!” he cries out. “That’s it. Carpe diem. They’re saying, ’Carpe diem.’ Can you hear them?” Then he turns to the class egghead, the one with the glasses. “Mr. Meeks, do you know what Carpe diem means?” The young man looks quizzical for a moment. Then the meaning comes to him. “Seize the day! Carpe diem means Seize the day!” “That’s right!” cries the teacher triumphantly. “Seize the day boys! Make your lives extraordinary!” They are calling out to you from the past—Seize the day!”
If you have seen the movie Dead Poet’s Society, that scene is forever etched in your mind. The past calls to the present—Carpe diem—”Seize the day!” The future looks to the past and says, “Carpe diem”—”Seize the day!” No message is more timely for us than this message.
The point of the poem is that a person does not know what the future holds so one should make the most of the what a person has at the moment. Enjoy the moment.
“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-Four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment.” Thich Nhat Hanh
How to Seize the Day and Live the Ultimate Life
ultimate – the best achievable or imaginable of its kind. the best or most extreme of its kind
John 10:10 ESV – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Abundant – existing or available in large quantities; plentiful. excessive, profuse, rich, lavish, abounding, liberal, generous, bountiful, large, huge, great, paramount, overflowing, prolific, extraordinary.
Life – Greek word Zoe (The God Kind of Life) – Not only duration of life but Quality of life
Ephesians 2:10 AMP – For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].
I Peter 2:9 NIV – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1. Realize Every Moment of Every Day is a Gift from God
Ben Franklin said, “Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff Life is made of”.
(Psalm 39:4-5 NLT) “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. 5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”
Psalm 90:12 NIV “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
“Life is a dash between two numbers on a tombstone, and everybody should enjoy that dash” Dr Neil Shulman (Movie Doc Hollywood)
Dash – Separating a beginning and an ending. What do you see? That 1 or 2 inch mark stands for a whole life.
18 times a minute you breathe, 25,920 times a day FREE of Charge
When you think about it, we don’t have much control over many things in life:
- Born, Parents, Time period/culture
- Death – Only God knows – Our lives are in His hands
One thing we do have control over – We get to decide how we are going to use our dash – How we will spend that time?
Our reception of God’s abundant life depends upon our choices that we make
Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV – This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
When you choose life with God, you choose the Ultimate Life!
Augustine said: “God is more anxious to bestow his blessings on us than we are to receive them.”
Choose – pick out or select (someone or something) as being the best or most appropriate of two or more alternatives.
Your future is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice! Today’s decisions will have a big impact on your life and future.
Most people don’t lead their own lives—the accept their lives
2. You Must Make Today Count
“The future is just a collection of bunch of successive nows”
Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV “Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
“Your success tomorrow begins today”
The future starts Today, not Tomorrow – Pope John Paul II
It was Abraham Lincoln who first said, “The leading rule for a man of every calling is diligence; never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
We have a tendency to over exaggerate yesterday
We have a tendency to over estimate tomorrow
We under estimate today
Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.
Matthew 6:34 (LB) “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow — God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”
Most people are focused on the wrong day. It’s too late for yesterday – stop reliving yesterday. And you can’t depend on tomorrow – won’t magically get better. The best time to start is now
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
Psalm 118:24 NIV “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
We love to announce our plans, to make our goals and declare them. This year I’m going to….
Proverbs 27:1 NIV – Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today. Les Brown
I believe in living today. Not in yesterday, nor in tomorrow. Loretta Young
Do Something TODAY that your future self will Thank you for
3. Live Today with Passion
Mark 12:30 (Message) – “So love the Lord your God with all your Passion and prayer and intelligence and energy”
Passion is the spark of life. Without it life has no meaning. It means object of desire, deep interest, zeal, fervor, enthusiasm.
Luke 7:31,32 (NIV) “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’”
Jesus is saying we played the music of life for you, but you didn’t dance. you didn’t enjoy life. You were always waiting to live. you were stuck!
•Then when the pain and problems came your way, you didn’t cry, you didn’t experience life. you tried to avoid risks at all costs.
Go ahead DANCE as though no one is watching you, LOVE as though you have never been hurt before, SING as though no one can hear you, LIVE as though heaven is on earth!
Ecclesiastes 11:8a NIV – However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all….
•You may be extroverted or introverted, it doesn’t matter – God made you to feel things deeply.
•Jack London eloquently described this kind of life: “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy permanent plant. The proper function of man is to live, not exist. I shall not wast my days in trying to prolong them, I shall use my time.”
Remember: Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm and passion wrinkles the soul!
James 4:14 (NLT) “ How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”
The greatest enemy is not death, but a life unlived!
William Wallace said, “Every man dies; but not every man lives”
Neglect enough Today’s, and you’ll experience the “someday” you’ve wanted to avoid!
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. Marcus Aurelius
•At the end of your life it won’t matter How much money was in your bank account, how many awards you won, how many goals you achieved. Did you love God? Did you love the people in your life?
2 Corinthians 6:2 (NIV) 2 For he says,“In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”[a] I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
Carpe diem, Rise up and seize the day.
Lamentations 5:21 MSG Bring us back to you, GOD—we’re ready to come back. Give us a fresh start.