Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In Which I Begin to Publicly Reflect on Life

"The glory of God is man fully alive; and the life of man is the vision of God." - St. Irenaeus

I'm a big fan of lists. It's not that I'm a major type-A personality or anything, but I just really like to make lists: shopping lists, idea lists, to-do lists.. You name it, I'll put it in a list. I like having goals, I guess.

In keeping with my list-making ways, I also make bucket lists.  They are ever-changing and not always on paper, but for years I've been making little additions and checking things off.  I just love adventures and new things and excitement! And every time I do something new, I want to make sure I experience it fully. I love imagining adventures I could take and all the things I could see and do that I've never done before, and I love being able to make those things a reality.

In the last few years, though, I've changed my perspective on the bucket list and I've begun calling my bucket lists "Fully Alive Lists" instead.

One reason is simply that, one fine day, the whole concept of a "Bucket List" suddenly struck me as a little bit hopeless. I'm a Christian! This world is awesome and all, but I'm hoping for Heaven! It's not that I'm looking to leave this world today (my heart is so not ready), but in God's good time I will kick the bucket someday - and it will be the best thing that has ever happened to me because Heaven is going to be a PARTY. Everything here will just seem lame in comparison.

The other reason is why I started this blog. 

You see, I have this little problem (I suspect I'm not alone) where I really like to live in the future. I'm always dreaming of the next thing and trying to write my own "life story of epic proportions". The problem with that, though, is that I write so many versions of the next chapter that I can't decide which one I want, I get lost in all of it, and before you know it I've lost sight of the ending and have no idea what I'm even doing in the present.

At those moments, you'll probably recognize me by the dazed look in my eyes and excessive amount of caffeine in my system.

Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; but I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly."  And, uh, you know what I've recently realized? He didn't mean: 'at some obscure time in the future I'll eventually make you kind of happy, meanwhile you should try to come up with plan B just in case I don't.' He meant that He is working on my happiness right now, in this moment.  And that right now, in this moment, life with Him is life in abundance. 

That realization may seem elementary, but it took me awhile to get there, and let me tell you: it was like coming up for air after you've stayed underwater for just a littttle too long.

God is wild and full of adventure. Ever ancient, and ever new. And when I open my eyes and live in the abundant present that He is giving me at each moment, that's when I'm living fully alive - and He is glorified in that. Unfortunately I forget that reality a little bit too often (I think it just comes with the territory of being a human after the Fall); but I'm trying hard to always remember it, to seek Him in the struggle of living it, and to have a good laugh at the messiness and weirdness of it all.

So, welcome to my blog, in which I begin to publicly reflect on life, the crazy and abundant present, and this wild God who gave it to me.

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