Sunday, January 06, 2013

Getting a life

There is an apt saying all men die, but not all men have truly lived. Sometimes I wonder if I am living a full life as defined by this world's standards, let alone if I am living a full life as defined by Christ. By the first measure, I am sadly lacking in independence, wealth, success, and coupledom. I am single, live with my parents and younger sister, over thirty, own an ancient car and may never own my own home. Although I have dabbled in the dating world, I haven't had a significant relationship or someone I would call my boyfriend ever. I am not sure if I will ever have a child. True, I am educated, am working as a professional in my chosen field, and I would be considered wealthy in the eyes of a significant portion of the world to whom owning a second pair of shoes is a sign of affluence. But definitely I come up lacking by Western standards.

Nevertheless I am a long way from where I have been, and from where I might still be. And I have learned some things from my journeys through the darkness of depression and the living hell of psychosis. I have grown in some ways and I have learned some wisdom. In my darkest times I have found God and found him to be faithful. It is in other times that I lose connection and muddle through life with and without God.

What about life to the full spoken of by Jesus in John 15? This life is not measured by the same standards. Wealth is not important, nor is worldly success, or marital status. Still living with your parents at the age some of your peers are celebrating ten years of marriage is less important than being lacking in love for others. It is important to be connected to Christ as your source of sustenance and life and to bear fruit fruit through the process of discipleship and growth, acts of service and life in the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control should be in evidence. So by this measure I am also lacking. 

But writing this has helped me see that however lacking my life may seem by any measure, there is an abundance of blessings in my life already. And however lacking in faith I may be, God remains faithful. So maybe in this new year I can get a life that overflows with gratitude and with grace. Maybe I can realize what is truly important and be grateful for the blessing of being alive to face another day, overtaken by the goodness and mercy of God.

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