MAKING THE MOST OF LIFE
I said recently that one of my favourite Bible verses was St John chapter 10 v 10, which reads, “I have come that they may have life and have it in all its fullness.” As Christians we can be assured that Jesus wants the very best for us. We do not live merely to tread water until we die. We live with this promise that God’s very best is available to us. We have to reach out and invest our life, just as surely as a millionaire or lottery winner will invest their money. Invest well for a good return is equally wise advice for a moneyed person and a Christian.
Here are some ways in which we would do well to maximise the life Jesus has in store for us.
Make time for friends and loved ones. It’s so easy to be busy enough or indifferent enough that family ties or friendships are ignored. Equally easy is it to concentrate on one’s own wellbeing and be oblivious to the wellbeing of others. Life is so much more comfortable when we feel safe with another person and when we don’t have to weigh thoughts or measure words. Close family and true friends can be trusted to respect what we say, not recycle it carelessly and keep what’s worthwhile while forgetting what isn’t. That kind of trustworthy bond is worth finding and nurturing.
Practice Contentment. This may well mean learning to be happy with less or reminding yourself that things could be worse. Here’s a simple story which has some relevance. Snoopy was lying in his kennel one Thanksgiving morning and moaning to himself that all he had to look forward to was dog food while all those humans would be indulging in turkey and gravy. He finally came to his senses when he thought, “well it could be worse – I could have been born a turkey.” Reminding yourself that things could be worse can be a timely developer of contentment. Here is another one, straight from the Bible, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” (Phil Ch. 4 v 8) Jesus himself said, “Watch out. Be on your guard against all kinds of greed. Life doesn’t consist of how much you own, but how you live. “(St Luke Ch. 12 v15).
Challenge yourself. Examine how you spend your free time. After a long or busy or difficult day it’s so easy to veg out in front of the TV and let your mind be a sponge for trivia at best or nonsense at worst. It is good to relax and TV can be blissfully entertaining or blessedly educational and both are good. However watching too much is always going to be second best, at best, to being physically and mentally active.
Be more patient. Some of us are more patient than others by nature. Most of us could be more patient without giving up when confronted by taxing situations. From my depository of silly but helpful stories here is another one. A man travelled to work every morning via the ferry. He prided himself on his good timekeeping at work. However one morning he overslept. With tremendous speed he readied himself and raced to the ferry terminal. The ferry was about six feet from the jetty, so he steadied himself, summoned all the courage he could, gripped his briefcase tightly, ran as fast as he could, leaped as high as he could and landed with a shudder on the deck of the ferry. Great. Tremendous. Facing him was a smiling and gracious skipper who said, “What an unbelievable jump, but if you had waited another minute we would have docked and you could have just walked on.” The Bible says in Proverbs Ch. 25 that patience can overcome any problem.
Please read what I have written and be clear that investing in the right kind of life will help you evaluate dangers and obstacles to enjoying the fullness of life that Jesus offers.
Blessings for 2019.