‘You only live once’ is the motto of many young people today, encouraging them to take risks that can harm them physically and spiritually. Judy Jose looks at how this affects their lives and the remedy that God offers.

“To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, LORD my God, brought up my life from the pit.” Jonah 2:6

Following the crowd

As young people these days we often tend to follow the crowd. We make a choice to reject Christ from our lives and only pray at Mass on Sunday or before an exam. We are at that age where many of us are obsessed by the phrase “YOLO”. It is everywhere Facebook, twitter, instagram In fact it’s hash-tagged on twitter all the time. It’s a common phrase that has won the hearts of teenagers and youth, which tells us to enjoy life, live it up and live life to the full. But is this an excuse for us to do whatever we want? Is it an excuse to make mistakes and not to think about the consequences? Living by the motto “YOLO” can mean that we wander away from the highway to holiness and turn towards what the world offers us.

Distant from God

In James 4:4 it says “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” Jesus tells us that worldly pleasures only give us the illusion of being happy.

We commit sin each time that we say yes to the world and no to Jesus and that sin can blind us. It is as if our wireless connection to God has been disconnected. This leads us to feel very distant from God so that we fall into temptation and we feel that we don’t have the strength to win the battle. Just like a piece of fur stuck on to Velcro; we too cling to what the world can offer us. We then decide to put an offline status for God and an online status to world.

Going downhill

However, after a while we hit reality and realize that our lives are going down the drain. Instead of making our lives happy and enjoyable, we find that we are going downhill. This is the point where we usually say things like “I give up”, “God doesn’t want me” “What is the point?” or “Does God even care?”

God does not want to make our life miserable, he can transform us into a new creation. All he asks is for us to leave behind the “I know what I am doing” syndrome and the Lord will pour out his mercy upon us. Jesus knows that when we are in the pit of sin we live in darkness, but God is waiting for us, stretching out his merciful hands to us, ready to shower the rays of his healing light into our lives. St. Paul says in Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

He will transform your life

God is calling us to surrender our entire lives to Christ and he will pour out his mercy upon us, but we need to be willing to take up the cross and follow him. This can be a challenge, but we can do all things through Christ because of his act of mercy. In the Bible we read the story of Saul who started out hating and persecuting Christians, but God had a bigger plan. He showed his mercy by changing the sinful Saul to the Christ-filled Paul. When we surrender our lives to God he will no longer see our past but he will bless our life ahead.

Dive into his everlasting mercy and he will transform your life. Trust in the Lord!

Your sin is not greater than God’s mercy