In the glitter and show of Singapore’s Orchard Road, there are two buildings that always trigger a reflection when I walk through them. Externally, each reflects a variation on modern design. They are clean, slick, and appealing. The first sits over a MRT (subway) station. It is bustling, warm, and filled with places to eat, meet people, and, of course, shop. When someone makes a suggestion that we should meet there, I am immediately thinking of opportunities. Where should we eat? Are we shopping or just hanging out?
The second building has natural curb appeal with an Apple store next to the entrance. On paper, it is filled with a variation on the first building. Each floor has a variety of eateries. There are several shops that are interesting in an unusual way – where else will one find wakeboards and surfboards in Singapore? Is there a better place for men’s grooming aids (masculine smells, lotions, etc.)? There is potential and yet I always walk away with a “but” thought in my mind. It is great, but it is also lifeless. There is no buzz, no excitement, and no warmth. It doesn’t have anything that gives me a sense that anyone cares if I am there or not.
The facades of both buildings are strong. The difference inside is stark.
Life reminds me this morning that I have several individuals I need to check in with. The method does not matter as much as the reason why. When our lives cross with the other, I am richer for the experience. I know each deeply cares and is engaged in living. They are a living example of what it means to be fully and completely alive. I am not suggesting that they are the only ones. I have come to appreciate that the invitation to live this way is open to everyone, you and I included. Their lives are an example of “the unending life, the real life!” (Jude 1.21) It will never be mandatory that I join them. The invitation is there. The next is a choice.