the invitation to fully live

There is only one invitation it would kill me to refuse, yet I’m tempted to turn it down all the time. I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It doesn’t come in an envelope. It’s ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It’s the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day. Nobody turns down an invitation to the White House, but I’ve seen plenty of people turn down an invitation to fully live. Turning down this invitation comes in lots of flavors. It looks like numbing yourself or distracting yourself or seeing something really beautiful as just normal. It can also look like refusing to forgive or not being grateful or getting wrapped around the axle with fear or envy. I think every day God sends us an invitation to live and sometimes we forget to show up or get head-faked into thinking we haven’t really been invited. But you see, we have been invited—every day, all over again.

-Bob Goff, Love Does

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Living in the now

The other day, I was caught red-handed trying to answer the question of “How are you?” with “Oh, you know, surviving.” Let’s be honest. What kind of answer is that? The soldier in the chapel that asked me was not about to let me get away without reminding me that Jesus came so that we may have life. John 10:10. Oops. As that truth clonked me over the head…I started thinking about why we say that; why we “just” survive.

It’s become apparent to me that a lot of people are perpetually stuck in a cycle of, “Oh, this is just a busy season. It’ll be better, easier next week/month/semester/year.” And yet, the funny thing is, it never is. Ever. If life is a continuous disruption of our plans to be less busy, we clearly have no control over it. Yet we keep trying to control it by saying it’ll get better, later. Later is what we live for.  Sometimes, I would like to scream:

What’s wrong with now? Why can’t we live life NOW? Who said we have to wait until the pieces fall into place? What kind of life is that, always trying to get to the next part, never content with where you are?

Jesus did not come so that we may have life to the full- later. Or when it’s less busy. Or when things are less overwhelming. Life, now. How do we do that? How do we live it? When the bills pile up and the email inbox bursts at the seams and the phone won’t stop ringing and everyone clamors for my attention and I don’t have a moment to breathe….well, do we have a moment to breathe?

That depends.

What’s your perspective? What’s your priority? Do you prioritize time to sit with your Savior? When Jesus commended Mary for sitting at his feet instead of bustling around trying to serve him like Martha…He had perspective. He knew priorities. He got what life was about.

“Life is not an emergency. Life is eucharisteo.” -Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.

I am becoming more and more aware that life should never, ever be about simply surviving. I know that there is so much more meant for us. It’s about being content. Contentment to me involves two things: trust and thanksgiving (eucharisteo). Trust that God has everything in control, not you. Thanksgiving for all that God has given you. If you are not convinced of this, do a word study on it. The Bible talks endlessly about thanksgiving, and how it brings joy. The problem is, we just don’t listen. We screen that out, don’t take it seriously- like most things in His Word to us. Then we complain that we don’t have joy, that we’re just surviving. I promise you, try being a little more thankful (it does take some work) and you’ll notice the difference. It’s the difference between surviving….and living.