Sunday, January 14, 2007

I Don't Want to be a "Dead Man Walking"

A few years ago actor Sean Penn played the role of a convicted killer who had been sentenced to die. The title of the movie was “Dead Man Walking”. Now understand, Penn’s character still had a pulse, still had breath, still ate meals and slept at night and engaged in conversations with other people, but he was a dead man. He had no future. He walked the corridors everyday knowing that his life was over. It was just a matter of time before it was finalized with an electric chair.

Some of us are walking like dead men and women. We are zombies who get up in the morning, perform some tasks, eat some meals, interact with some people and then go to bed at night. Then we start the whole dead thing all over again the next day.

We have a pulse. We have breath in our lungs. But we are dead. Why? Because we don’t really live.

Life is being able to smell roses. Life is being able to see the forest and the trees. Life is being able to fully give love and receive love from others. Life is feeling the warmth of sunshine. Life is delighting in the laughter of children. Life is willingly giving yourself as a blessing to others. Life is holding tight to God and holding loosely to material stuff in this world.

What I’m describing is just a little of what it is like to have real life. Someone goes to see the Grand Canyon and the sheer enormity and beauty of it washes over the senses of a person and suddenly there is a heightened awareness of God. There is a strong sense of the greatness of life, the vast mysteries it beholds and for that moment we delight in it.

But, the question is, how can we sustain that sense of “aliveness”? How can we have that same experience in the valley? It takes a personal relationship with a living God to breathe that kind of life in us.

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