Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reflections on the Abundant Life, part 2

Now I get to return to my reflections on my pastor's message two Sunday's ago about the Abundant life. How, as a child of the King, I should be reigning in my life, enjoying the many, many things God has given me. ONe part of learning to enjoy my life is to lose my subjectivity about myself. Worrying about what I look like, what I sound like, if I did the right thing. Was I bad? Should I have not said that? What did they think? Were they upset? Do they think I'm a doofus now?

Phooey on all that! The truth is, no one really cares. Just be who you are and enjoy being who you are. I am very different from most people I encounter and this is a familiar struggle -- the thought is constantly creeping in that I should be like this person or that person. That how I am is not like others and so, by that measure, I must be bad. That's baloney. I am what I am by the grace of God! (I Co 15:10)

I should be myself, and enjoy myself, and not apologize for who I am. Just relax in it. Furthermore, my focus should not even be on myself (which is, of course, subjectivity!). I shouldn't be thinking about my performance or my growth or whatever. I need to evaluate myself for sin so I can rebound, but beyond that, forget it. My focus should be on Him. And on others.

Life is not about us. It's about us laying down our lives for the Lord Jesus Christ and for our friends.

We're to enjoy that life more abundantly. The yoke is easy. The burden is light. Life is filled with enjoyment (if we look for it and concentrate on that). It's fun. We get pleasure out of living.

The food we eat can be a constant small pleasure. Our homes, humble or great, are still our homes, and have many comforts. Solitude, family, friends. The sky, the grass, our pets. The word of God, the wonderful things God has done for us. Who we are in Him: Winners already, not because of us, but because of Him. With the potential to win even more -- crowns which we can cast at His feet in the eternal state.

We're supposed to enjoy the life God has given us. Even the unbeliever is told to enjoy the life which God has given him under the sun -- his wife, his job... Philippians says to concentrate on the positive honorable things.
The world wants us to concentrate on the negative. Yes, there may be worldly voices urging us to "think positive" but overall the things you hear from the world are negative. All the bad news on the news, all the things we have to watch out for, beware of, not eat, not do ...

If you concentrate on all the negativity -- what the nation's going through, what you're going through ((what's wrong with you, what's wrong with all the people in your periphery))you'll have a negative attitude rather than a positive outlook.

Live one day at a time and enjoy yourself. Realize this is the day that the Lord has made. Enjoy your loved ones, your money. Prosperity, the blessings God has given you: family, children, relatives, church, friends.

Life is Fun!

He paid the price so we could LIVE, not run around in gloom and doom, condemnnation and guilt.

There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. I don't have to do anything to please God. He is already completely pleased. So why say to myself that I'm bad and feel regrets that I didn't finish the tasks I'd hoped to finish today, and now I'll have to add them to tomorrow's routine and when will I have the time to work on the book, answer email, write a blog post? Stop! Deep breath...

There's always time to do the will of God. Getting all bothered about what I've not done, what I'll have to do is definitely not the will of God. I enjoyed what I did today, even if it didn't work out that I could finish. Oh well. It's one day at a time. I can't keep peering into the future and getting all weird about what I fear I'll have to do. God is there. He will handle it. I have only to enjoy today.