Sunday, August 24, 2008

When Did You Start Living?

Our pastor asked the question this morning, "How long have you been alive?"

He was actually quoting from the writing of Tony Campolo.

The first and obvious answer from most people is their chronological age. Even that might be debatable based on the phrasing of the question. It could be argued that life begins at conception. Therefore, we each must add the length of gestation to our normal measure of chronological age to arrive at the answer.

The second answer, it being a church service, might have to do with our Christian life. After all, as born-again believers in Jesus Christ, it could be said that we have only been alive since the point of our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior.

In fact, he was referring to neither of these. His point was, are we just going through the motions, or are we experiencing life to its fullest? Are we really engaged in living our life to the maximum for which God designed us, or are we just getting by?

I think most of us are just getting by -- with the possible exception of the occasional rare moments when we suddenly look around us and say, "Wow, my life is great!"

Living life to the fullest requires getting out of our comfort zone. It requires risk. It sometimes occasions ridicule. It asks much of us but returns much more. It might mean leaving a lifelong career doing what you thought you should and diving into what you really want to do. It might mean selling the trappings that tie you down and moving to Africa as a missionary. Whatever it is, pursuing what God has called you to do is real life. It is living at a level that few ever experience.

So, when will you start living?


Pat Jenkins said...

besides our callings pan, which i totally agree with you on, what else do you think qualifies as living life to its fullest? and now the tough one, how is that found?

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Pat: I think "savoring" each moment is living. Some moments are special such as holding your newborn son or daughter -- that is living. Other moments such as standing on top of a mountain and looking down on the tops of neighboring peaks and realizing that God made it all -- that is living. Watching your son hook a nice fish and "light up" as though he was glowing inside -- that is living. Picking up your first grand child and her sticking her finger in your nose -- that is living.

How do you define the indefinable? Living life to the fullest is found when we have love, peace and joy in our life and we are pursuing meaningful things with all our heart -- all of which come from only One source -- God the Father, through his Son Jesus, living within us -- that's when we really start to live.

Pat Jenkins said...

i will agree again pan, and only add all you have mentioned reminds me of love, and how precious it is.... and the freedom of living can only follow!!

Plowing and Sowing said...

Good thought. To add to your response, I have have found that when I am continually dying to self, then usually my heart is in a place where I am aware of what God is doing around me and I am more apt to jump in to His direction instead of living for myself. It is funny that our world is pushing self satisfaction, if you want it get it, if it feels good do it, but yet there are more depressed and angry people in our world than ever. We can't look to people or things to bring happiness, only being submissive to God's leading and being obedient to His direction will bring peace.

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

P&S: It's that external focus....

Mark43 said...

I often find myself wrapped up in the moment. When I realize this is happening I step back and take a look at the bigger picture. The hard part is allowing yourself time to reflect on what is important. Is the now important? Once I figure that out I will be compelled to write a book! I wish that I was alive more and I will try my best to put life in perspective. It is easier said than done but I love challenges (the Marine side of me speaking). So that is my journey and my destination. Good luck in on your path.

Chris McClure aka Panhandle Poet said...

Thanks, Mark. I pray that you will be filled with the source of Life and that your path will be clear!

Anonymous said...

Have You Ever
by Red
Have you ever felt,
the cold and lifeless hand of an infant,
gazed into their unblinking eyes,
and observed the face of death,
when masked in bittersweet innocence?

Have you ever touched your dreams,
and felt the simplistic joy,
of feeling them become reality,
only to abandon them,
for reasons you cannot explain?

Have you ever watched your family,
who once shared the greatest of loves,
suffer an unforgettable and unforgivable tragedy,
that will slowly, painfully, and inevitably,
tear them all apart?

Do you know, firsthand,
the evil that resides deep within the heart of every man,
every woman, and every child?
Have you seen its face as it randomly seeks,
a soul to torment and destroy?

Do you know the darker side of life,
the one that awakens you,
in the still of the night,
crying to the unknowable God's,
‘Save me from myself. '?

Does your heart constantly question,
whether humanity is obtainable,
in a world corrupted with suffering,
and where war,
is the favoured solution for peace?

If you really want to know me,
and understand the forces that compel me to move on,
then take these questions,
and take this pain,
for this who I am.

i beati said...

i try to treasure every day , but I'm sure do not thank Him enough sk