Why we should live extraordinary lives

Robert Labayen

Posted at Aug 13 2019 09:46 PM

Illustrated by Robert Labayen

Gazing at a night sky decked out with stars is a most humbling thing.

Scientists are learning how accurately designed the universe is. Any slight deviation in the “fine-tuned” cosmic formula, the universe would have fallen apart. So, scientists have concluded it was impossible for the universe to have begun without a designer-creator.

In the endless heavens, the earth is a speck tinier than a grain of sand. 

But even in our little spot in the universe, all works of God are just breathtaking. The golden sunrise, the vast oceans, the gorgeous mountains, the colorful birds and animals, the dazzling world under the sea. As you can see, God doesn’t make anything ordinary. He only creates awesome things.

God, the God of amazing things, wants us to live extraordinary lives, too.

Every parent can understand this. Does any parent want their child to live a life that is boring, mediocre, unfulfilled? Becoming rich may not be every one’s ambition, but very rare is a parent who’d wish their child would live and die poor.

Having a life that is spectacular doesn’t mean we have to become rich and famous, popular, highly skilled or influential. It’s not even about what opportunities are accessible to one’s economic status.

I believe God gave all of us the potential to live special lives. We are all free to develop our talents, pursue our passions, serve the public, serve the Church, dedicate ourselves to a worthy cause, dedicate ourselves to people who need care, make people happy, find something to laugh at every day. We can do a variety of things to make our lives more exciting, and the world a better place.

God wants us to go for more because he is a God who pushed the beauty and abundance of His creation to the extreme.

A parable told in the book of Matthew berates the servant who buried his master’s resources in the soil and therefore making them unproductive. It’s God’s lesson against some people’s tendency to waste the talents they have been given. Maybe some don’t actively look for chances to use them. Others use their gifts for self-destructive things.

We are therefore advised to free ourselves from the bondages that limit our abilities. These could be bad habits, laziness, pride, a resigned attitude, bad peer pressure.

If we develop our endowments, it’s not just us who will be happy. That’s because those talents are meant to be shared. “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10)

When we use our talents to serve and delight others, we can get even better in our craft. Jesus told his disciples “whoever wants to be great among you must be their servant” (Matthew 20:26 ).

When I discussed this thing in our Couples for Christ household, one of our members said that service to the community made him discover a hidden talent. Where once he was too scared to face a crowd, now he is one of our most articulate speakers.

It’s not always a religious service that will bring out the best in us. Many songwriters and poets become prolific when inspired by love for country or love for somebody deserving. Engineers are motivated by visions of beautiful cities.

If you can afford it, it’s also good to help those who have no means to fulfill their dreams. For example, my CFC brother Rudy Gaspillo initially wept because he knew he couldn’t go to college. His father sought help from their landlord. Eventually, Rudy placed 8th in the national board exams for engineers!

I once listened to a lecture by a doctor specializing in the care of old people. She said that keeping the mind and the body active are good protection from disease and other forms of dementia. It’s good to stay engaged in life!

Bronnie Ware is a nurse who worked with terminally ill patients. She learned that the biggest regret of dying patients is the fact that they were not able to live the life they wanted.

As young people say, YOLO. And a boring, unproductive life is surely not what we had wanted.

For me, a special life, a spectacular life, is one filled with miracles, answered prayers, fulfilled dreams, goals reached, work created, people served, people loved and people who love us.

“But for those who trust in the Lord for help will find renewed strength. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak.” (Isaiah 40:31 )

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.