Sunday, March 15, 2009

Life Abundant, continued

I've been pondering the whole Life abundant notion this weekend, when God got fed up and helped me out. Okay, I'm sure He meant it nicely. But surprise of all surprises, M agreed to go to his Sunday School class this morning. By himself. For the whole time. Provided he got all of Mommy's car keys and his choice for lunch. AND K went into the nursery. By herself. And only cried a little. Apparently there was much to do with the babies that required her immediate non-crying attention. So B and I could enjoy the sermon in peace.

And then, not that I really should have been surprised by this point, the sermon continued in the book of Ecclesiastes, in which Solomon throws out his two cents on life's meaning. And what do you think it was? (I'm envisioning bored yawns by this point) Enjoy the moment! For in the end, we all come to the same fate (death, in case you're in some form of denial), and we all suffer the same unfair trials and tribulations and random chance moments while getting there. So all we can have is our life as it stands in this moment, and, if we have faith in God and goodness, hope for a better tomorrow.

That's where our pastor ended. But I still felt a little unfulfilled. Because to me, it's about what hope can inspire you to do in that moment. Hope to see your grandchildren grow up? That's smashing. Now get off your duff and exercise. Hope to make amends with your estranged friend? That's brilliant. Now pick up the phone and give them a call. Hope to be a better person? That's grand. Now be that person, today. (I bet by now we're hoping that I watch a little less British television. But don't worry. I've run out of corny British adjectives anyway)

When I think of having life abundantly, I imagine life as an orange I hold in my hand. I peel it apart, take a really awesome juicer, and just juice the heck out of the thing until all that's left is a hollowed out little peel. Then I take that peel and chew it whole. Okay, I'd actually put it down my garbage disposal so that everything smells nice and orangey, but it's the same point. I make sure that I squeeze everything little bit of good out of it. Because I've only got one orange today, and I can't save it for tomorrow either. Besides, there's another orange tomorrow. Or maybe there's not. And if not, wouldn't you like to know that you made the best use of your last orange?

The exact verse: "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in [death] where you are going" (Ecc. 9:10).

So wherever you are and whatever you are doing, give it your all. Appreciate everything. Hope for things better. And make them happen, as best you can, today. This one shot, that's God's gift to you, and He gave it to you so that you would enjoy it as fully as possible. That's a little more what living a life abundant means to me.

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