16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.’

Road to Calvary Herri Met de Bles c. 1510-after 1550 Flemish

There is “perishing” life and there is “eternal” Life. The Greek word translated “perishing” is apollymi. It relates to death, destruction, ruin, and loss.

The truth is, there are times when I live a “perishing” life. I seek to assert my will over the world. I disregard the needs and sensitivities of others. I struggle to affirm my power and chase after privilege and prestige. I am living in the realm of death and destruction. This is a perishing life.

I feel “perishing” in my body. It is tight and constricted. My “perishing” voice is clipped and sharp. When I live from that “perishing” place, I sow the seeds of fragmentation, discord, disharmony, and pain. My words and actions tend towards ruin and loss in the world.

But, I also know what it feels like to live in “eternal Life”. The “eternal Life” place is open and spacious. It has a freedom and gentleness that enables me to support the movement to Life and light in all my relations.

When I live in “eternal Life” I live in harmony with the way all of creation is designed to operate. I live lightly on this earth. My life contributes to the well-being of all life forms.

I wonder what it is about “perishing” that gives it so much power? Why would I choose “perishing” over “eternal Life”?


What is it that draws me towards “perishing”? What is it in me that so often resists “eternal Life”?