The new you… to be or not to be
“To be or not to be…”
That is, indeed, the question!
This phrase, written by William Shakespeare, is probably one of the most famous phrases in all of literature. But what most people don’t know, is that this famous thought is from a person who is contemplating ending his life. This soliloquy, spoken by Prince Hamlet, looks at the pains, tragedies, and the meaninglessness of life and contemplates an end to all the struggle. Hamlet has lost hope. He finds life unpleasant, empty, full of disappointments – life, in his mind, is hardly worth living.
Hamlet’s famous words remind me of other words, by a man named Solomon. The guy with the reputation as being the wisest who ever lived, wrote a whole book of the Bible (Ecclesiastes) describing the “vanities of life” and the folly of chasing after all the things that people say make life meaningful. Like Hamlet, Solomon discovered that as the years drag on, your pleasure in them fades and overwhelms you. It is in this oppressed state, that the living contemplate the virtues of death.
What Hamlet and Solomon agree upon is that the natural course of living (with all its troubles and hardships) tends to suck the life right out of living. And a life lived pursuing wealth, pleasure, success, achievements, or recognition always tends to lead us to the edge of a cliff – where that final step, to “shuffle off this mortal coil,” seems like such an appealing option!
As a Christian, we feel we have a tremendous advantage over all the Hamlet-types out there – caught up in their struggle to make the most out of life, before life takes the most out of them. We believe in Jesus, and that is supposed to make all the difference in life.
But a simple belief in Jesus is not enough.
At least, not in the way we tend to think about believing.
True belief in Jesus is when we come to Jesus (and to His offer of eternal and abundant life) with a white flag in our hands. We come to surrender ourselves to Him completely. We make a life-long vow to live for Him, and only for Him. We come to lay our lives before Him – to BE His completely.
In return, Jesus invests the vast riches of Himself, in us. He meets our full surrender with the full provision of Himself, His care, and His purposes. We get the amazing opportunity to be used directly, by Him, to touch real people with the power and goodness of His love. To make life worth living – not only for us… but also for those whom Jesus touches, through us.
But for the amazing life and love of God to flow through us… we must BE His.
Without reserve. Without regret. Without turning back.
The words of Hamlet, echo true for each of us as well. When it comes to the essential matter of belonging completely to Jesus… we must all chose… to BE or not to BE. Our simple answer determines a life filled with God’s purpose and blessing, or a life that is destined for disillusionment and disappointment.
Prayer focus: God, help me to lay myself completely before You… to BE Yours!