Living the Abundant Life

In John 10:10 Jesus tells us that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  The Message makes this description of abundant living even clearer.  It says, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

Can you imagine having—actually living—a life that is more and better than you ever dreamed of?  It sure seems like a tall order, unimaginable even.  The truth is, it is ours for the asking.  The Word tells us so.

We must ask ourselves, however, if the life we are living is one of abundance or mediocrity.  Is it better than we’ve ever dreamed of?  Or are we feeling like we’re living a nightmare each day that we can’t wake up from?  God has been speaking to me about this very idea for quite some time now and I have learned some wonderful lessons as a result. 

Being a planful person, I often have a list of things to do or accomplish that motivates me and keeps me on track.  I’ve realized though, that I have become so determined to reach my destination and check off all the items on my list that I haven’t been enjoying the journey.  In fact, there have been many times that I wasn’t even aware of the beautiful scenery along the way because I was so focused on “getting there,” wherever “there” was.

I realized just how much I was missing when I missed the scenery along the way.  Little things, mostly.  Everyday things.  But as I thought about them I realized that they weren’t little at all.  They were the type of things that we often take for granted, but that truly make our life what it is—reading the same story to our child at bedtime each night, having lunch with a friend, driving our children to school every weekday morning, sharing our hearts with a loved one, listening to a friend in need.

It is these “small” things that make up the very fabric of our being, our lives.  And, truth be told, they really aren’t “small” at all, as these are the parts of our lives that bring us comfort, joy, peace and, if you have a family like mine, adventure.

Living the abundant life isn’t about what we have.  It’s about what we do with what we have.  It’s about the attitude we have about all that God has blessed us with and being content and grateful for them.  It is the attitude of our hearts that determine whether we are rich or poor, givers or takers, living in abundance or famine.

This year I have chosen a new heart attitude:  the attitude of abundance.  I have learned and continue to learn to embrace the everyday things and treasure them for what they really are:  God’s gifts.  And when I do this, I realize just how blessed I am, that the God of the universe cares so much about me that he would enrich my daily life with these jewels to treasure.

So when my children are misbehaving, dinner is not prepared and I am running late—again—I stop for a moment to check my heart attitude and to soak in the wonder of it all.  Even in my imperfect, sometimes chaotic existence, I am living the abundant life.  And it is so good!