What Are You Giving Your Life To?


Guest Post by Ben Larson

What are you giving your life to? This is a question I’ve made a motto for myself lately. The older I get, the more I realize how little time and money I will be able to leverage during my lifetime. So I’ve made this question a mantra, and I use it to evaluate new commitments, expenditures, and projects before I give away the resources God has entrusted to me. Below are a few of the questions that have been haunting me lately.

Am I giving my life to Netflix? Sometimes I get excited about a new movie or TV show and get sucked into a black hole of media consumption. It’s hard not to spend two or three hours a night (which is a part time job) watching a new addicting show, especially when Netflix makes it so easy. My evenings with my wife (or even my piano) are precious to me, and I get a little sick when I think about how much of myself I’ve given away for cheap entertainment.

Am I giving my life to my stomach? I recently developed a dairy allergy, which was traumatizing for a guy who was raised on milk, bologna sandwiches, and tacos. But in dealing with the diet change over the last month, I’ve saved hundreds of dollars and lost thirty pounds, and I’m suddenly free from chronic pain that has plagued me for years. I had no idea how unhealthy my diet was and how desperately I was throwing money at my stomach.

Am I giving my life to my gravestone? I’m an artist living in an American Idol culture, which means I’m constantly living underneath the pressure to do something important. Something that will last. Something that will change the world or at least grab its attention. Oh yeah, and get rich doing it. But then I listen to my friends talk about drawing or singing with their kids, and it makes me wonder if I’ve bought into a cultural misunderstanding about the purpose of art. Or life. And I wonder if having a really cool gravestone and leaving behind an epic Instagram feed is worth the effort.

I’m trying to be better about evaluating the patterns I allow in my life, both at work and at home. And I’ve had to be ruthless with some things I love. But even after a month, I can say I’ve never felt so intentional about my relationships with my family, friends, and God. I think I might be onto something.

How do you think that question would transform your life? What are you giving your life to?  

Photo Credit: Benoit Courti

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