In the midst of ongoing world crises–the War in Ukraine, lingering Covid worries, worldwide inflation, and a looming recession–there remains the desire to hope, to celebrate, to live.
Just look at Great Britain over the past week. Everyone, everywhere stopped to celebrate the seventy-year reign of their beloved queen. They threw parties and held parades and attended services and ceremonies all in honor of a woman whose title and place is ceremonial.
What is it that makes the queen such a beloved figure?
I believe, though they were quite different in many ways, it’s the same thing that endeared Princess Diana to the British people and the world. Both women had/have a remarkable passion for life.
Yes, the queen sticks to strict protocol. Her clothes, her smile, her countenance, her demeanor, and even her wave are carefully executed, groomed from birth to appear dignified and poised at all times. But what a life the queen has lived, and she is loved for the image she presents.
Let’s think about it. Who are those people in this world who are most loved and adored?
I believe it is those who know who they are, understand why they are here, and exhibit a passion for life. People like Pope Saint John Paul II who said, “Life is entrusted to man as a treasure which must not be squandered, as a talent which must be used well.” He understood what a gift life is, and he knew that life should be lived to the fullest.
In the First Century, St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” We’ve been trying for 2000 years to find a way to be fully alive. I think that’s why so many seek out and follow those people who exemplify the joy of life as well as those who exemplify society’s vision of happiness even if not true joy.
We are all searching for truth and meaning and fullness of life.
At one of the daily Masses at our church last week, Father Michael said something that truly struck me. He said that everyone always says that life is short but in reality, life is the longest thing we will ever do.
Think about that.
Life is the longest thing you will ever do.
Even if you work at the same job for twenty years, even if you are married to the same person for fifty years, whether you go to school for twelve years, sixteen years, or twenty years, none of those will last as long as the entirety of your life.
You Only LIVE Once
Why do we dwell on how short life is when it’s literally the longest event we will experience? Life is the one thing we have a literal lifetime to perfect, to achieve, to become.
We should put more energy into thinking about what we are to do with our lives in the long run, not just today.
There is something about the mantra, YOLO (You only live once) that has always bothered me. People use it as an excuse to do crazy things, to take unnecessary risks, and to throw away stability on a whim. Instead, shouldn’t we be putting all our efforts into perfecting the life we have been given? Shouldn’t we be looking for ways to be a better person, to fully use our talents, and to make this life the very best life it can be? Shouldn’t we be living our life with a bold passion, our eyes always on making our life and the lives of others better, richer, more meaningful?
There is a difference between having a passion for life and passionately living life. We can have a passion for life and strive to live to the fullest, being kind to others, exploring and using our gifts and talents, and growing into the person we are meant to be. We can also live life passionately, jumping from one thing to another, flying blindly without noticing where we are or who we are, and throwing caution to the wind. These two ways of living life with passion are very different.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t climb mountains and sky dive and fulfill our wildest dreams. It just means that we should know why we are doing it. Are we running from life, abandoning the life we’ve made, or living dangerously for unhealthy reasons?
Or are we truly taking advantage of all the opportunities that God has given us in this longest thing we’ll ever do? These are questions we must ask, among other, loftier questions.
A Successful Life
Why are you here?
Why has God given you the gift of life?
Who do you want to be?
What do you want your life to represent?
What will the meaning of your life be?
St. Gianna Molla said, “The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day.”
A successful life is lived moment by moment. Finding joy in each of these moments can be difficult, but we’re only given one life, and we need to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean that we should live so passionately that we become reckless, but we should live with a passion for life. We should live with the knowledge that life is a gift we’ve been given, and we will have it as long as we’re on this earth. It’s meant to be cherished, shared, matured, and most importantly, lived.
Unlike your time in school, your work career, your friendships, even your marriage, life is the one constant that is with you from the day you are born until the day you begin your eternal life. It’s the longest thing you will ever do, so make the most of it.
Come see Amy on one of these dates:
June 12, 2022 – Saints Peter and Paul Women’s Guild Brunch, 1214 South Washington St, Easton, MD, 11:45am
June 15, 2022 – Catch Amy on Delmarva Life on channel 16, Salisbury, MD at 5pm.
June 18, 2022 – SunDial Books, Chincoteague, VA – The Launch of My New Chincoteague Trilogy!
June 18, 2022 – Crisfield Bluegrass Festival, Crisfield, MD, 1:00-7:00pm
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What I was writing about one year ago this week: Persevere and Be Steadfast.
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. The Good Wine, the sequel to Whispering Vines was released in June of 2021. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s chapter book is The Greatest Gift, and her most recent suspense novel is Summer’s Squall.
Amy’s second book in the Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Promise, was awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book in Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019. Amy’s book, Desert Fire, Mountain Rain begins her new Buffalo Springs series. Book two, Under the Summer Moon, was released in December of 2021.
Amy’s new book, Seeking Tranquility, will be released June 15, 2022. Pre-order your copy now!
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020), The Good Wine (2021), Under the Summer Moon (2021).