John 10:10“I am come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly…”
In more recent times, I find myself appreciating things that normally are passed over: the laugh of a baby, a bird stopping by a windowsill to sing sweetly, a butterfly wistfully meandering through a summer day. Normally, such activities are considered mundane, or at best, impossible to do with our current microwavable society. But then that’s it…everything just moves too fast!
Trust me, I am in no way insinuating that standing in long lines at our favorite store or being stuck in traffic jams are fun. What I am challenging us to do is what our Savior did. He considered the lilies, the sparrows, and the children. He never allowed the day to determine his pace. Rather, He set the pace for His day, but allowing the beauty of life to teach and remind us of God’s promises.
How many times have we introspectively denied ourselves the right to life? Upon immediate answer, we would say, “Never, Cleo! I have a good job, nice home, and my children are taken care of.” Praise God for that, but that is not living. That is existence, and that is not what Jesus came to grant us. In the Book of John, at the tenth verse of the tenth chapter, Jesus was midway into the second example of this principle. He was trying to explain the difference between a life of pious servanthood to the rhetoric of men, and true living. He called one who tried to achieve fulfillment in life the easy way a thief and a robber. This may seem extreme, until you recall events or news where those who wanted something for nothing just took it from others. So many times we rob our own selves of the privilege of joy in the space of comparison. We rob others of enjoying our God given potential, because we compare ourselves to others and what they have. We become the thief when we take bad moments out of a day and create the false narrative that the whole day is a bad day. We allow others to become the robber when we leave the day’s joy in the hands of others. We allow others to become robbers when we shift our thoughts of ourselves and others based on their insecurities. We allow others to rob us when we forfeit peace for gossip and needless banter.
Jesus made a clear distinction in what thieves attempt to do and what He came to complete in us. Stealing, Killing, and Destroying are all tied to an outward action that came from an inward void. Jesus said that His mission was to give live. As we know, babies are not born from the outside of a woman. All of life begins (and ends) from the inside of a thing. Jesus’ actions everyday were to get us to morally transition from a life necessitated on others to a life given to God and refurbished. There is nothing more joyous to me than watching Extreme Home Makeover. The owners give their keys to accomplished teams and come back days later to see vast improvement. This is what the whole of life is about. It is the relinquishing of one’s right to ramble through life alone, the entrusting of God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to make us over, and the excitement and joy of a renovated spirit. That happens from the inside out. Live life, and do it with a great awakening that nothing will ever be the same again once you allow Christ in! He wants you whole! He wants you healed! He wants you living, not existing!