Living life to the Full. January 3, 2021
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all ~ Helen Keller.
Choosing how we spend our hours and days is a luxury.
Personally, I want to wring all there is out of it - to live life to the full!
Jesus said, I came to give life - life in all its fullness.1
Accordingly, Paul's words motivate me - "Be very careful, then, how you live--
not as unwise but as wise."2
Here's a provocative thought: Wise living does not just honor God, but it increases our longevity. Hmmm. Found this article about a fella who went back to his home country because he was dying . . . only to find life! Check it out: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.html
The Ikarians, (referenced in the article above), are on to something, don't you think? A little more research on longevity points to communities (blue zones) where people hold several priorities in common: 1) faith in God, 2) steady, years-long relationships in community, 3) maintenance of one's own garden, and a 4) mostly-plant based diet. Moraitis, the man from Ikarias, swears by his daily afternoon nap and a couple glasses of red wine from his own vineyard.
Step a little closer as we consider our relationship with God - our faith. Jesus' brilliant reply when asked about the greatest commandment: "Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."3 As we learn to love God more, our faith in him grows stronger.
>Pray - set time apart to talk to your Father like you do a friend, and seek his wisdom and direction daily. It is fine to shoot little prayers up throughout the day, but why not start your day with a few minutes of prayer? [I know, I know - I beat this drum often!] But it is key in growing our relationship with God and also fostering hope and peace in our individual lives. Have we ever needed it more?
Learn to cultivate a little solitude in your life. The psalmist wrote, "Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in him, and he will do it.4 Ask God to grow your desire for him and for his Word. He will - and the result is life giving; I know that full well.
>Read, study Scripture
The sacred pages are fascinating and informative, worth what it takes to pull out the meaning and application for self. Want to increase your faith? Get in the Word. Paul: Faith comes by hearing, that is hearing the Good News about Christ.5
>Worship together with other people seeking to know and walk with God. Do you worship God? Oh, how he loves that! While I know you do not need to go to church to be a Christian or to worship, why would you want to miss out? By the way, people involved in faith communities (attending/participating at least four times a month), extend their lives between four and 14 years! Keeping the Sabbath--a day of rest--is one key to an unhurried life, and keeping the Sabbath is one of the ten commandments as well.
>Serve God by serving others; giving of your time, physically serving is valuable in so many ways.
Would you like to grow in any of these areas this year? How so? _______________________________________________________
How will you make it happen?_________________________________
Without a vision, the people perish . . . so let's live life on purpose.
Let's purpose to make it an abundant 2021 . . . this is a holy invitation to live life to the full!
Worship song: Greater Things, Mack Brock - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDKkC-Qv4Mw
p.s. - 'Thought the longevity angle was a fresh take on considering growth in the New Year; did you find it interesting? Here's a link for more:
Personally, it is not necessarily about extending my life, but feeling good, being well and thinking well during my lifetime. How about you? Hit 'reply' and comment.
1 - John 10.10b, CEV
2 - Ephesians 5.15, NIV
3 - Mark 12.30
4 - Psalm 37.5
5 - Romans 10.17