There is a rap song by Drake called “The Motto”—and his motto and bridge of the song is “You only live once—that’s the motto—YOLO”. Don’t go and look up the lyrics—they are mortifying—his idea of living once is drinking, gambling, cheating, and having sex with anyone. Not my idea of “only living once”. But if you are a Christian, you don’t just live once—we have eternal life and this earth is but a station on the way to heaven. But, because I work with teenagers, I get to hear the motto all the time—another In and Out Burger? YOLO! Let’s all do the polar plunge? YOLO! Let’s go out and TP at midnite? YOLO! And believe me, those are the minor, benign things and they are fine. But my motto is “You only live once ON EARTH—so what are you going to do with your life? Are you going to waste it with work, errands, worry, addiction, or are you going to live fully and abundantly? YOLO.
Since I was diagnosed with cancer, my motto has been YOLO (my version). What are my priorities? What are my joys? How can I best server others with the gifts God has given me? I have told you before in my blog that cancer changes your perspective completely. When I was first diagnosed, we thought it was going to be an easy procedure—early stages colon cancer—some chemo and radiation and then surgery. Probably finished in six weeks. But when I met with my oncologist after numerous scans, the word was stage four liver cancer and colon cancer. That was the worst day Greg and I have had in the past six months. But you know we did? We said, “YOLO”-- I have one time on this earth and what am I going to do with it? So for the past six months I have been spending great time with friends, near and far. I have been reading books I love and having passionate quiet and journal times with God. I have been working closely with my leaders at work and making sure everything is going smoothly even though my physical presence isn’t always there. I have been focusing on Uganda and my heart there, and how we can help and produce and serve even more. I have been spending family time with my kids and husband. And even though I have to sweep every day (dog hair drives me crazy), and my hair is thinning and my eyelashes are falling out, and my skin is chapped and burning, my throat raw, and my limbs swelling, I still make every day count.
YOLO is meeting with one of your best friends from childhood and spending time with her family who you haven’t seen in years (shout out to Kari)
YOLO is having sweet quiet times of prayer and solitude on my back yard swing/lounge
YOLO is family nights—taking boys to a movie and dinner and talking about family goals
YOLO is booking a Christmas cruise to Honduras, Belize and Cozumel and not really knowing where the money is coming from because all our money goes into our Uganda account
YOLO is preparing and praying for our Uganda trip next year, cancer free!
YOLO is having your friends bring the party to you after chemo and having a happy hour filled with laughter and deep sharing.
YOLO is going out with the soccer moms and straight, real talk and mounds of laughter.
YOLO is trusting God for His provision every day and for his faithfulness
YOLO is praying for your three friends who have breast cancer and believing that God can and will heal.
But YOLO means nothing unless you believe that we have a better, eternal life with God the Father and Jesus. We can enjoy God’s glory and the people he brings into our lives on earth, but heaven is a place filled with no pain, suffering, anger, illness. A place of solid and secure relationships, and time exploring all of God’s glory.
My prayer for you my friends, is that you would find your priorities both here and in the afterlife. Find what you love and find faith in Jesus as well. Then YOLO has real, significant, life changing meaning.