O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

Uncle Jason’s Birthday Reflections (Part 3)

Beginning with Monday’s birthday post, I’ve been listing three important things I’ve learned over the years. The first was that it’s better to spend money on experiences rather than material things (unless those things contribute to the experience, of course). The second was that income can be replaced, but time cannot.

Here’s the final thing I’ve learned:

3. Life is too short to spend it ___________ (fill in the blank).
I suppose this is related to #2, because life is too short to spend all
of it working. After all, why do you work? Isn’t it so you can have
enough money to do other things you want to do? But it applies in a lot of places, and I’ve been known to fill in the blank with a lot of different scenarios.


Life is too short to spend it comparing myself to others.
There will always be better writers, better speakers, more successful
writers, more popular bloggers, people with more twitter followers, etc.
But I’m not them. I’m me. If I spend my time obsessed about how I don’t
measure up, I’ll forget to enjoy the things in my life of which others
might be envious. Like my spectacular dance moves.

Life is too short to spend it worrying about things you can’t change.
Sometimes bad things happen. The car breaks down. You get sick. You
mess up your knee by passing out in the shower right before the
half-marathon you’d been training for (to use a completely random
example). You can direct all your mental energy toward being frustrated
about your negative situation, or you can look past it, try to fix it,
and make plans for the next challenging scenario. You can dwell in the
past or try to make the best of the present.


Life is too short to spend it reading a book I’m not enjoying.
Oooh. It took me a long time to get to this point. I used to have to
finish a book I had started, even if I hated it. (I’m looking at you, Steppenwolf.) But now? If it hasn’t grabbed me in the first 100 pages, I have no problem abandoning it.

Life is too short to spend all of it at church.
For shame! But true. My wife and I both grew up attending every event
and activity available at our church. We’re both exceedingly grateful
for our upbringing, but with our own kids we just don’t see the
necessity of doing everything. Honestly? We’d rather stay home and play
Settlers of Catan or Monopoly. We try to be deliberate with our time
and, rather than attending out of obligation, we get involved with the
things that give us 1) the most family-wide benefit, or 2) the most
opportunity to serve or get involved as befits our skills or talents.


Life is too short to spend it focused only on yourself and your own comfort.
This is a necessary balance to pretty much everything else I’ve listed
above, because many of these things benefit me and my family. A healthy
family life means looking outward as well as inward, so it’s important
to get involved in other things — financial donations, opportunities to
serve, helping friends — just to combat basic self-absorption.

Life is too short to spend too much time blogging, or on twitter. Still working on this one.

The point? Life is short. Time is precious. Be careful how you spend it.


There are lots more “Life is too short…” statements we could make. If you’d like, submit your own in the comments.


Comments read comments(3)
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Charlie Chang

posted December 8, 2010 at 10:15 am

Life is too short to spend it trying to change someone else. People have their own opinions, prerogatives, intentions and work ethic. People are different and I will kill myself staying up all night wondering why they just don’t “see it my way.” Truth is, if there were 6 billion Charlie Changs in the world, it would be a bad bad place.
Life is too short to spend it giving people advice who don’t want it or aren’t asking for any.
Life is too short to spend it thinking everyone is out to get you. Maybe some people are. But a majority of the time, people aren’t.
Life is too short to spend it watching tv. I can watch reruns of Saved by the Bell all day long and not get anything done. But no matter how many times I’ve seen an episode, Zack and Kelly still break up.
Life truly is too short to spend it all at church. My wife and I are similar to what you have experienced. Growing up I was at every event and anytime the church doors were open. But it’s just unrealistic to get to church at 930am, leave at 1230pm and be back at 5pm to 8pm. And that’s not even the commute time or getting the kids ready to get out the door. To be honest, Sundays don’t even feel like a rest day.
We don’t go on Wednesday nights either. There’s just too many things going on during the week.
Life is too short to spend it complaining. I need to work on this. A lot.

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posted December 8, 2010 at 10:56 am

Life’s too short to worry about what happens after it.
Enjoy life to the fullest while it lasts. Chances are you only get one go at it.
The proper time to worry about afterlife starts when you actually die. If there is a some sort of supernatural Judgement, respecting the life you’ve given by getting the most out of it should be more than enough to grant you a positive outcome, whatever that might be. If it’s not, then the Judge wasn’t worthy of your respect and worship to begin with.

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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted December 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Life is too short to spend it inside. Life is too short to spend it sitting down. Move people!
Love the one about church – this may sounds nuts but my family hasn’t been to church in two months because we’ve had too many other things going on (surfing, skiing, family in town, etc).

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