You Only Live Once

“YOLO” – an acronym for “you only live once” - is a piece of slang my undergraduate students taught me during a class discussion about mainstream cultural values. 

“People use it as a hashtag on social media.  It means that you should get out there, take risks, and make the most of life,” one of my students explained.

YOLO was popularized by the rap song “The Motto,” but this term is only the most recent expression of the perennial idea that we should seize the day and remember life is short.

Poet Mary Oliver closes her poem “The Summer Day” with this challenging question:  “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” 

Oliver’s question and the YOLO phenomenon both point to the ongoing work of discernment – seeking to hear God’s call as we say “yes” or “no” to various possibilities and opportunities.   For me, considering the question has led to my “yes” to begin candidacy at Sinsinawa. 

Our time and energy and resources are limited, so what are the values that drive your choices?  How might an awareness that “you only live once” impact your decisions about “your one wild and precious life?” 

Rhonda Miska
Sinsinawa, WI


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