#YOLO: “You Only Live Once.” This acronym has become one of the trendiest phrases among teenagers in recent years. While many of us think negatively of the term’s focus on rash decisions and the lack of consequences, #YOLO actually holds quite a lot of truth.
There’s an old saying that goes, “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” I believe this is what #YOLO really means. We’re all given only one chance to live every moment of our lives. What we do with these moments decide how purposeful and meaningful a life we lead.
I grew up thinking that I only needed to think about my destiny or calling when I was past a certain age, or when I was ready for this huge responsibility. As teens, we tend to push our destinies so far back in our lives that we live our teen years aimless and without purpose. We think that we can put off our destinies until we are more mature, independent, spiritually ready… you fill in the blank. That’s not true!
The truth is, our destinies start today. They are today. Today-destinies are both the big and small things that God puts in our lives, and it is our job to see and live for these moments. Our daily decisions, choices, and actions are so critical in shaping our future destinies and callings. Here's why.
Today-destinies Require Intimacy
Today-destinies are God’s call to live beyond ourselves. It is a big calling, but God doesn’t throw us in the deep end to find our today-destinies and do them by ourselves! He does quite the opposite. He places opportunities to live out our today-destinies clearly before us. Our part is to be sensitive to His leading and learn to embrace them.
We become sensitive to His voice when we look beyond our personal desires and consistently enter into fellowship with Him. We need to be in the habit of asking God, “What do you want me to do today?” As we grow in intimacy with God, courage, strength, humility, and other character traits that are needed for the task will naturally follow. Living out our today-destinies will not seem so scary when we’re in close intimacy with Christ. We will know that He’s the one who has called and enabled us for this particular situation, and by taking that step of faith to do it, we’re living in obedience to His higher calling for our lives.
Today-destinies Are God-opportunities
The second thing about today-destinies is that they are God-given opportunities to be faithful and obedient every day. I believe God has specifically given each of us talents, giftings, and abilities. What we do with these giftings however, is our choice.
I remember playing with Lego blocks when I was younger. I would spread all the different pieces on the floor, and then piece by piece, stack up the blocks until I eventually created something great. Similarly, our gifts, talents, and resources are like these Lego blocks. If we faithfully make use of each of our giftings, then piece by piece, day by day, we allow God to craft the seemingly small and minute details of our lives into something useful for a greater purpose.
Today-destinies Need Not Be Big
Our daily destinies do not need to be big things. I know of a pair of friends who posted a picture of themselves with an old Indian uncle on Instagram one day. They mentioned that instead of going for their pre-arranged movie date, they decided to go around the mall and sense from God who needed to be prayed for or blessed. And so that’s what they did, blessing the uncle with their prayers and love gifts.
Personally, even this small act is intimidating to me. I know it’ll take a lot out of me to approach someone and pray with them, or even just talk to a stranger. It just feels like too big a job for me! But I’ve realised that today-destinies may be even smaller than that.
Perhaps it’s talking to a lonely classmate, or helping an old lady carry her groceries down the bus, or just being available to a hurting friend and praying for her. We fulfil our today-destinies and show Christ through these simple acts of love. Let me challenge you with this thought: If you were to die tomorrow, would you regret how you lived today?
Today-destinies Count For Eternity
The #YOLO the world uses today reveals the short-term mindset that whatever we do counts only for today. In contrast, our today-destinies actually count for eternity. Did you know that we can impact people that we don’t even know yet? Our today-destinies count for things bigger than our selfish desires or wants. Everything that we do shows the love of God. Let what God has blessed you with show in your actions, and this way, we don’t only live life fully, we live life meaningfully in a way that counts for eternity.
What is your destiny for today? Instead of making impulsive decisions and using #YOLO as an excuse to ignore consequences, make #YOLO a reminder to embrace the today-destinies God has placed in your path everyday.
Life is short. Don’t wait to start on your today-destinies!
This article was first featured in Issue 3. You may purchase a copy here.