In Part 1 we started looking at the fact that God says that you are a worthwhile person—little is much in life when God is involved. In this part we will look again at the fact that we are made in the image of God—he loved us so much that he gave his only Son. God is the master of taking ordinary people and doing extraordinary things with their lives.
Let me remind you of some of the humble beginnings of some of God’s saints:
- David: a shepherd boy (the runt of the family) who became king.
- Mary: a young impoverished girl who—because of her faithfulness and steady spirit—was chosen to bear God’s Son, Jesus.
- Peter: an uneducated, redneck fisherman who followed Jesus—and changed his world.
- Mother Teresa: a tiny little nun who has impacted the whole world like no other in the past generation.
- Martin Luther King: a poor black kid—with a dream to change racism in America forever.
Do You Feel Fully Alive?
Little is much when God is involved. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. All things are possible for those who believe, for those who love God: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 – NLT)
Have you ever wondered why:
- you feel life is boring and uninteresting?
- our marriages do not have that spark?
- is work such a grind?
- we are all too often indifferent about life?
If I asked you, Do you feel fully alive? or Are you really pursuing the dream inside of you?, what would you say? Our desire is to answer, Yes or That’s how I’d like to live my life. But the truth of the matter is, as Tony Campolo says: “Many people live and then years later die, without having really lived at all.” A modern-day philosopher puts it like this: “We aren’t desperate—but we are vaguely dissatisfied—because we are living half lives, half-heartedly.”
Overcome the Sense of Dissatisfaction
1. Pay attention to the here and now
It is vital for us to live in the present. The truth is, most of us are plagued with thoughts of only the past or the future. See, when we focus on the past, we are fighting these emotions: uneasiness, regret, guilt, anger, bitterness. These emotions prevent us from moving to the here and now. Other people live in the future, which is filled with many ‘what if’ and ‘if only’. Always looking to our next experience, to our destination—instead of to right now, today, this minute. Avoiding the present has almost become a habit in our society.
Imagine what it would be like if we could live each moment in a state of focused attention and heightened awareness and emotion. We are in far too great a hurry to get somewhere other than where we are. We rush through life trying to find the important parts and we tend to forget or pass by all the rest. The reality is ordinary moments—when we experience them fully, that is what makes us alive!
You know, children know how to live in the here and now—they don’t need reminders. They have a very keen sense of wonder, creativity, delight, curiosity, and spontaneity. It’s like they see everything for the first time. See, we adults forget what it means to take a walk or enjoy a moment—just to enjoy it!
Our leisure time is even filled with challenging goals and expensive equipment. Saddest of all: we miss countless surprises our Creator God has scattered throughout our day! If only we would pay attention to everyday miracles. Here’s some everyday miracles:
- a grandfather out walking with his wife of 50 years
- a beautiful sunrise or sunset
- flowered yards and gardens
- a cool walk in the evening.
It’s simple: what you see is what you get! It’s all a matter of keeping our eyes open. Moments of beauty—they’re everywhere. We need to bring our presence—our attention—into these moments. If you want to seize life, focus your attention to the here and now.
2. Pay attention to the state of your soul
Proverbs 4:23 says: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.” Another version of the same verse says: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
How do we pay attention to what’s going on inside? We need more out of life than working, sleeping, eating, relating to others. We need to go against the compulsive busyness and rushing of our society.
We need time to be quiet! To reflect and explore the meaning and the purpose of our lives! We need to make time for solitude. It’s then that God can speak to us.
(To be continued in God Says You are Worthwhile – Part 3)