Sunday, April 22, 2018

You Only Live Once...Yes & No

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

YOLO? Well, Yes and No

Not that I’m big on throwing my time away, because I had plans for accomplishing something great today. But you have to understand, that video said I wouldn’t BELIEVE what happened next. “BELIEVE”—it was in all caps just like that. So it’s not like I had a choice anyway, but I could see that this video had a baby in it. And a puppy. Only a monster could just scroll down like it wasn’t a baby and a puppy.

There may have been a few other things I squeezed onto the day’s itinerary that didn’t exactly start out there. But those make-up tips on Pinterest are not going to pin themselves. And also, that word game on my phone keeps my brain sharp. Probably. Come on, who needs a mind-sharpener more than I do? I’ve finger-swiped a lot of words in that game. Miles. I’m sure that’s why my mind is a steel trap. I can’t explain how the otter got in the trap. But still, I do think every now and then I hear him hollering, “YOLO!” It’s about as cute as a puppy. But not cuter than a puppy and a baby.

Of course, that “You Only Live Once” philosophy is not all that biblically sound. Frittering my time away isn’t any too biblical—even if my brain-otter says it’s okay. At the end of this life, I wonder how many of us will say, “Sure wish I’d played more dragon games on my computer.” Or maybe, “If only I’d spent more time looking at my phone.” 

It’s not that recreation is a bad thing. There’s often restful, rejuvenating purpose in a couple of kick-back-and-relax items on the itinerary. But we do only live once here. We need to spend our fleeting time wisely. I think if someone translated “YOLO” into Latin, it would be, “carpe diem.” Every day is one that’s begging to be seized. 

Despite its familiarity, I still read Romans 12:1-2 regularly. “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (HCSB). Though I read it routinely, it never fails to inspire me to seize the day. It does for my heart so much more than any word game could ever do for my brain. It’s like a heart-soul-and-mind-sharpener.

At every point I allow His word to be my mind-sharpener, change happens. It’s a renewing of mind that doesn’t simply result in a nice word score, but one that can reveal “the good, pleasing and perfect will of God.” There’s simply nothing I want out of this one and only physical life more than I want to know and do His will.

Live once in the physical—sure, YOLO. But for those of us who’ve been born again, life here is followed by an eternity spent in the glorious presence of Christ. Every time we think of that glory, we’re inspired all the more to live each day like it’s our last, loving Him with every minute we’re given.

Incidentally, no matter how many minutes you’re given—no matter how many make-up tips you pin—don’t even try to be as cute as a puppy sleeping on a baby. Nowthat’sa waste of time.

You only live once...yes and no - @RhondaRhea on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Inspiration to live like there is—an eternal—tomorrow - @RhondaRhea on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist for lots of great magazines, including HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and more. She is the author of 10 nonfiction books, including How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? and coauthors fiction with her daughter, Kaley Faith Rhea. She and her daughters host the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ. Rhonda enjoys traveling the country speaking at all kinds of conferences and events. She and her pastor/hubs have five grown children and live in the St. Louis area.


  1. I am convinced that if I do my "job" right in this life, my next life will be filled with "puppies and babies", and "kittens with yarn", and "grandpas fishing with little boys", and "funny bumper stickers", and endless loop YouTube (R) videos of Jeanne Robertson. Pretty sure though there won't be any makeup tips to Pin. God's blessings for this wonderful reminder to make time to enjoy our lives each day Ms. Rhonda. Life in the Rhea household must have sure had its fun moments.

    1. Thanks, Jim. I would've replied sooner but I was busy pinning those makeup tips. LOL!

  2. Thank you, Rhonda, for these thoughts today. I, too, feel the breath of my mortality on my neck more and more as I grow ... wiser. The list of things I want to accomplish for the Lord stretches long and urges me to squeeze every second of productivity out of each day. My challenge is to remember that people, along with tasks, deserve my attention. It’s sometimes more satisfying to check off a box on a to do list when I have something tangible to show for it. But eternity will prove that all time dedicated to Him was productive. May we be found faithful.

  3. Well-said, Lori. People more than tasks. May we be found faithful, indeed! :)

  4. Thanks for sharing, Rhonda. I love your fun yet profound insight into such depths of wisdom, love, and truth. LOVE. Yes, I had to cap this for this post. :0

    1. I'm blessed by your sweet words of encouragement, Joann. Also you CAPS. Heh heh heh. Blessings right back to you!

  5. I wonder what people did in Jesus age to waste time...maybe our time period makes up for all the centuries that actually had to work (hustle) for a living. But I hear you Rhonda. Well, said.