This phrase stopped me in my tracks – put so simply – how long WOULD you hold a grudge if you only had six months to live? Or how long would you be angry, or sad, or upset, if you had 24 hours left on Earth? I am blown away by Joel Osteen’s words from his sermon this week…it was focused on “redeeming your time” on Earth, living life to the fullest, and accepting and appreciating life – not just the ups, but the downs as well. Here is an excerpt and link to the podcast version:

Time is one of the most valuable commodities that we have. The Apostle Paul said we should run with purpose in every step. Each day we have the same amount of time to use. If we use our emotional energy for the wrong purposes, focused on the negative, dwelling on who hurt us, we’re not going to have the energy we need for the right purposes. We’re not going to make the best decisions. We’re not going to be as creative with our gifts, and our talents won’t come out to the full. Part of living purposeful is to keep offenses, bitterness and grudges from robbing our energy. Like the sun shines brightly each day, that is how we ought to be; we shouldn’t let anything block our light. With this gift of life comes a responsibility to develop our talents, to pursue our God-given goals, to become everything that He has created us to be. On a regular basis, reevaluate what you’re doing and how you’re spending your time. Refocus your life. Let go of any distractions. Shake off any self-pity, any discouragement, any disappointments and run your race with purpose. If you’ll run with purpose in every step, accepting and appreciating the gift today, then you are redeeming your time, and when you come to the end of your days, you’ll be able to say, “I have no regrets. I have spent my life well.”

What I love about Joel’s sermons is how simple, yet how powerful his words are, and how his words transcends many religions, and is just so encouraging, so hopeful, and so TRUE – this is our life, and we only have one chance to do it right. He closes with some more powerful statements that I typed as quickly as I could (some is paraphrased!):

How are you spending the 86,000 seconds God gives you each day? Are you investing it? Taking time with the ones you love the most” Are you leting bitterness and anger block your “sun?” Make the most of each day…accept the present God gives you, thank Him for giving you another day. Things may not be perfect, but enjoy the day, look at the good things in life. Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Don’t let the sun go down on those dissapointments you may encouter. Clear your mind, turn it over to God, and live with purpose. Then, you are redeeming your time on Earth. You will overcome your obstacles, you will come to the end of your life, and realize you didn’t have any regrets.

That is powerful. And if you have the time, please take a listen to the podcast…the words are wonderful, and I came away with it completely inspired and reinvigorated!