“This is my command: Love each other.” -John 15:17
I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish that I had lived with more patience, more purpose, more passion. I want to live that life now. If I had to guess, you probably do as well. Most people don’t want to waste their lives; they want to leave a legacy that means something. An extraordinary life isn’t made from extraordinary moments; it’s made from ordinary moments done with extraordinary love.
As Jesus walked this earth, it wasn’t about what He could get; it was about who He could love. Everyday Jesus took ordinary moments and made them extraordinary because He loved people. He wasn’t a people pleaser; He was a people lover. I think about when He was on His way to raise a dead girl back to life, and a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years reached out to touch the edge of his robe, hoping to be healed. Jesus turned around and said, “Who touched me?” He was in a massive crowd, of course people were touching him. But He knew it wasn’t just anyone, someone touched His robe. It was a divine interruption. The woman who had been overlooked for twelve years had finally been seen. Jesus saw her, and because of His love and compassion for her, He healed her (Luke 9:40-56). He changed her life forever. What if our love could change the lives of those around us? What if our daily interruptions were actually divine interventions? What if Jesus wants to use you to echo His message of hope to a dying word?
It won’t be easy; trust me. Love is messy. Look at the cross: the greatest act of love stained in blood. Loving people like this doesn’t mean you won’t get hurt. Love is risky. The very people Jesus loved, ended up betraying Him. The very people Jesus came to save, ended up crucifying Him. But not even a tomb could stop His love for people. Go and love big. It’s a risk we must take if we want to live lives that mean something. We weren’t meant to play it safe. Like ships, our lives aren’t meant to always stay safe in the harbor. We miss out on an extraordinary life when we stay safe in the harbor. We were meant to set sail on the astounding adventure that life has to offer. Each day holds new adventures and new mercies. Find them. Life is too short not to take a risk on love. Your God will be with you every step of the way, and He will help you back to your feet when you fall. But I promise a life spent loving God and loving people is exponentially worth more than a life spent just loving yourself. Because at the end of the day, you learn that loving people marks an extraordinary life.
Today you can choose to live an extraordinary life because you can love in extraordinary ways. Choose to see the people who go unseen. Choose to hear the voices who go unheard. Choose to value the ones who go unwanted. You will find these people in your ordinary moments. Like Jesus, you will pass them in your day to day. But what if today we choose not to pass them up? What if today we choose to be a better friend than we were yesterday? What if today we choose to be more available than we have ever been? What if today we choose to live extraordinary lives?
Follow the author on Twitter: @masonleichhardt