only once

Thirty weeks ago today, in the late afternoon of a hot July day, I was standing at the edge of a large rock, getting ready to jump into the cool water below. I knew it was safe; I’d watched Austin, Rachel, Emma, and most of the rest of the staff team jump in before me. I knew it would be fun, and I knew that I’d be glad I did it afterward. But even so, I was not so sure I wanted to jump. It would be easier to just step back and not have to worry. “Come on! You can do it!” the rest of the team encouraged me from behind. “You only live life once!” Jimmy said.
You only live life once. Now I realize that those are the last words I can remember Jimmy saying.
 That truth has propelled me into so many decisions, adventures, and attempts. Like my life motto of “no regrets,” that idea has caused me to take risks that I knew would reap eternal rewards, and spend time in prayer in order to best use the life God has given me.
Tomorrow, I’ll begin staffing the 2012 Washington State TeenPact class. I am so excited to get to work with such an incredible staff team, meet dozens of students, form deep relationships, and glorify Jesus.  I want to go into this week with an eternal perspective that will impel me to live every moment to its fullest. I want to have a mindset that will not allow me to sit back and be complacent in my cozy little comfort zone. I want to keep remembering that I will only live this week once.
And really, that’s the mindset I want to have with my whole life. Every moment, while it may seem exactly the same as one before it, will never be had again. Every opportunity that arises to impact someone’s life will never return the same way. And while God gives us second chances when we fail, we can never rewind the clock and live something over again. We only live life once.
We have to apply that. Think about it today, and the rest of the week, and the rest of your life! But especially this week, focus on the implications of this principle that we all know, but rarely put into practice like we should.
Standing there on the edge of the rock, I had to choose between my personal comfort and what I knew I would not regret. “You only live life once!” Jimmy said. And I jumped.


  1. Thank you for this encouragement, Shelby!


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