Today the world lost a beautiful, amazing voice.
When I heard the news of the tragic shooting that killed Christina Grimmie, I was shocked and sickened. She was so young. She was an amazing, beautiful singer and person. I watched her journey on The Voice and voted for her the whole way through to the end. She could sing like no one else.
When I heard the news, it hit me how fragile life is and how precious it is. How quickly it can be taken, even when one is so young.
All the time you hear the phrase "YOLO: You Only Live Once." It's a phrase meant to give teens the permission to waste their youth and do stupid things in the name of "having fun," while sometimes damaging their future. It gives them the permission to do whatever they want to do when they are young, even wrong things, because you know, "you only live once," so you might as well do it now.
And in this way "YOLO" deceives the youth of today.
Because you do only live once.
But shouldn't that stop you in your tracks and make you wonder? Wonder what you are doing to make this one life count? Wonder what you are doing to leave your mark on the world now?
We only have one life to live on earth and we aren't even guaranteed how many days or years that life will be. It could be two years. It could be fifteen years. It could be forty years. It could be one hundred years.
We don't know.
And that should cause us to look at this one life we have to live and cherish every moment. To count every moment worthy of being cherished and loved and appreciated.
You might not wake up tomorrow morning.
You might not make it through this evening.
But you have this moment right now that you are living.
So live it to the fullest. Tell someone you love them today. Give them a hug and make it last. Take a walk with your family while the sun is setting and stop to smell the flowers alongside the trail. Call your best friend, tell her you need her forever. Share a smile with a stranger. Listen to the wind blow through the trees. Appreciate the smell of fresh laundry.
Enjoy the little things and make them all count. Love the people God has put in your life and show them that love every day. Don't take them for granted. You never know when God may take them home. Appreciate the things you have. You never know when you may lose them.
You only live once. You only have one life.
What are you doing about it?
Don't waste it, please. Don't waste it doing something stupid with your youth and don't spend your days goofing off. Don't spend your life with no purpose or meaning.
Make a change. Speak out. Do something worth remembering in ten years.
If you were to die tonight, did you leave anything behind that people will remember you by in 10 years? Something that will inspire others in 10 years, maybe even someone you don't know?
Write that book and publish it. Sing that song and record it. Draw that picture and display it. Raise your voice and speak out. Be bold. Chase your dreams. Love radically.
And above all, love Jesus with every second He has given you.
Love Him more than the one life He blessed you to live.
Cherish this one life.
And do something amazing with it.
Isabella Morganthal (20) is a homeschool high school graduate who loves Jesus with all of her heart. She is a drummer, writer, creative arts director, and modern-day abolitionist.