My Broken Road to Grace: Post Twenty Eight ( Are You Living Life Abundantly?)
Are you living your life to the fullest? Are you savoring every blessing that God bestows upon you each passing day. Do you smile, laugh, hum and whistle often? In a nutshell are you happy? Before you answer, give that question some thought. Most people would readily answer yes and yet if we followed them around with video camera for 24 hours what they said and how they lived might seem to be very, very different.
As Christians, as Americans, as human beings we have much to be thankful for and even still sadly as we go through life day to day it seems that more often than not, we seem to easily forget that. Don't get me wrong, I know that life can be difficult and that the world is not a Utopia. We were never promised that it would be. We can thank our ancestors Adam and Eve for that. Never the less, I think if we are truly honest with ourselves, even on our worst day, our lives are still pretty good compared to that of many.
Maybe you don't have that brand new pair of shoes you have been eying at the Mall but somewhere in the world probably in this country, maybe even across town or just down the street there is a child that has no shoes at all. Certainly that bologna sandwich that you are brown bagging for lunch isn't the juicy filet you would prefer but there is someone somewhere who would give anything to have it. The same could be said for our homes, our cars, our clothes, our jobs, our friends, our families even our health and I could go on and on. Remember the old saying "I was mad because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet." Yes wherever we are in life, things could certainly always be better somehow but trust me my friends they could also be much much worse.
Let's break it down for a moment and look seriously at some of those things for which we should be thankful. A Christians, first and foremost, there should be our salvation. Think about the fact that we are promised at the end of this life to spend eternity with God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit in a glorious place of peace and tranquility where pain is non existent. That alone should give us joy beyond measure. One day our fight, our struggle, our tears and our angst will be over. Do you think God owed us that ? If you do you couldn't be more wrong. Salvation is a gift that we did not, do not and will not ever deserve. We cannot not earn it and as such God owes us nothing. He gives it to us freely because of His never ending love for us. Now you tell me, what, in that circumstance can you find about which to be unhappy?
Secondly, we are Americans and despite all the bad that might be going on in our country, despite what all the newsmen and women shove down our throats every day about the state of our economy, the jobless rate, the recession and the dangers that loom ever so close not daily but hourly now, it is yet and still the best country in the world, filled with the most compassionate and kindest people, who possess a "can do" spirit that has existed for over 200 years and beats any where else in the world (China included) hands down.
Finally, we are Human beings, the smartest creatures on the planet, blessed with both mental and physical skills that set us apart and give us the power over all other creatures. Think of it this way. You could be lost and condemned to and eternal Hell. You could live in a country where freedoms were non existent or with a slightly altered DNA you could be a beast of burden, destined to pull a plow. So let us as a people do this, start to look for, find and then enjoy the best that life has to offer.
Remember when you close your hand in the door that you have a hand, when you feet are tired and sore that they are there at end of your legs and when you could pinch your child's head off that you would be lost, lonely and oh so sad without them as a blessing in your life.
I have arthritic knees and they hurt like heck. Some days it is all but too painful to walk and on those days it is easy for me to get down and feel put upon by having this problem at a fairly young age. Recently as my girlfriend and I ran some errands, or should I say she did as I really just drove and sat in the car and while I did, sitting there lamenting about my sore knees, a handicapped outfitted van pulled into the parking lot and a man emerged who had lost both his legs just above the knee. Wow what a blatant and timely message from God! I felt like the jerk that I was and immediately lowered my head thanking God that I had knees at all, hurt or not.
You see God gives us what he gives us, sore knees, tired legs, sassy kids or a big nose, it doesn't really matter regardless of what it is He still expects us to be thankful and to continually look for the good. John 10:10 says: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Start living your abundant, grateful life today, thanking God for what you have not lamenting about what you don't. You will be surprised and pleased at what this change in attitude will do for you and how infectious it will be to those around you!