Monday, June 4, 2012


YOLO! It’s the newest abbreviation sweeping the world.  For those of you less informed it stands for: YOU. ONLY. LIVE. ONCE.  It’s joining the ranks of BTW, FYI, BRB, and LOL.  A Facebook friend of mine had the following status update:
While in line for the Millennium Force (a ride at Cedar Point, the greatest roller coaster park in the world) there were guys behind us that all had YOLO tattoos. Two guys had it on their necks and the other two guys had it on their arms. Two girls walked up and asked if they were real, the boys said yes and the girls said “Oh sweet! We have it on our lip!” Then showed it on the inside of their bottom lip.
That whole thing sounds painful to a guy with zero tattoos outside my body or inside my body.  At face value YOLO sounds a lot like Carpe Diem, but it is usually associated with doing extremely stupid things.  Some other Facebook friends posted the following:
  • Getting smashed tonight #yolo
  • Partying hard in Vegas, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas #yolo
  • Today I’m cussing out my boss #yolo
YOLO describes our culture so well in a 4 letter acronym.  Rather than a noble idea of Carpe Diem it is much more like Craig Kilborn’s old SportsCenter tagline: “If it feels good do it”.  Essentially, You Only Live Once so you better get everything that feels good done now.  You better do everything you can to get your pleasure.  You better get all the money, all the sex, all the revenge, all the partying, and the like done now because…YOU. ONLY. LIVE. ONCE.

YOLO is immature, but it is also TRUE.  You really only do live once.  You only get one shot on this spinning ball called Earth.  You really do only get one life then your heart stops beating, your brain stops functioning and they have a funeral for you.  They bury you and put a head stone up with your name, the years of your life, and maybe a phrase or a remembrance statement: “Here lies Frank Jones he really YOLOed.”

BUT (and that’s a huge BUT) while the body stops, life does not.  The body dies, the soul goes on.  The soul keeps going.  You Only Live Once, but also FOREVER.  Heartbeat, breathing, brain function stops…life does not.

What you’ve done with the years you’ve had matters.  The way you’ve spent life matters.  It’s like what Maximus says in Gladiator “what we do in life echoes in eternity”.  If this life is spent in the constant pursuit of personal pleasure raging after the highs of money, sex, drugs, and power (and more) then this life is WASTED.  That’s not what God gave you breath for.  That’s not what God intended.  It’s like what the ancient writer, Solomon said:
“I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. “
(Ecclesiastes 1:14 ESV)
We were meant for more.  We were meant to live for more.  God has plans of grandeur.  God has plans of eternal significance for us.
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and
for him.
(Colossians 1:16 ESV)
We were created for more than living for ourselves and our pleasure.  WE. WERE. MADE. FOR. HIM.  We were made for His glory and His purpose.  If you live in pursuit of that NOW then that day when your heart stops, brain waves cease and lungs quit you won’t have anything to worry about.  You’ll have lived for eternity.

So I agree YOLO, but realize this life matters, make it last for eternity.  #yolobaf (You Only Live Once, but also Forever).

Christ is all,

P.S. if you have questions about how to yolobaf email me.  I’d love to talk it through with you.

Jason Crandall is a pastor at FBC Pearland overseeing Young Adults, Students, and Administration. He received his M.A. from Liberty University and his MDiv from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married with two sons. He blogs at

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