“Be in love with your life.” -Jack Kerouac
“The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.” -Proverbs 19:8
“Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” -John 12:25
Yesterday afternoon I found the Jack Kerouac quote, above, in a book I’m reading on how to be a better writer. I liked the thought, so I tweeted it. But then I realized that I only liked the quote within the context of a biblical worldview. It occurred to me that Jack Kerouac’s worldview might have been different from mine. I didn't know who he was or anything about him. Since I wouldn’t want to be quoting an infamous serial killer on Twitter—especially one who said, “Be in love with your life,” I googled the name.
According to Wikipedia, Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet, a “pioneer of the Beat generation,” “a progenitor of the hippie movement.” He died in 1969 at age 47 of internal bleeding caused by alcohol abuse. I wonder if he was in love with his life or if, maybe, he was searching for a way to be in love with his life or if, perhaps, he’d been deceived into believing he was in love with his life even as he was poisoning himself to death.
I may never know, but I don’t think I would enjoy reading any of his books.
To me, being in love with my life means learning to spend it well. For this I need the wisdom and understanding that only God can provide. I seek this in His Word and by talking with Him throughout the day. I practice His presence, enjoying Him and learning to go where He leads.
I often struggle with fear, though, and am tempted to too carefully protect and preserve this one life. But I’ve learned that that is not living well. It is not being in love with my life; it is keeping myself in a cage. When I feel this way, I must relinquish that job—protecting and preserving—to God. He loves my life even more than I do. I give my life to Him and spend it in His presence, according to His direction. I lose my life to Him and He gives it back, so I can love this life with Him throughout eternity.
Father, please give us wisdom and understanding, so we can live life well. Then please help us to trust as You lead. Show us how to abandon our lives to You, so You can make them into what You always meant for them to be. This is being in love with life: living for You always!