A life of thrill and adventure. We want it.
It’s the stuff movies are made of. We want to wake up with some new talent we had never acquired before or all of a sudden be promoted to the height of fame and fortune. Maybe we wonder what it would look like to become the hero of a story. And then we look at our actual lives.
Life was not meant to be a flavorless dish, but sometimes we treat it that way, like something we just have to make it through, not something we get to taste and experience. We wait for our big moment to arrive, feeling like we will catch our break soon. But that is exactly where we will get stuck. Waiting. I beg to argue that it doesn't start with some epic movie moment. It begins when we decide to live. Inside each of us is the intense desire to experience a life of fullness. This is a God-given and holy desire! It’s about so much more than just ourselves and our own happiness. When we tap into the creativity and joy that Jesus intends, it inspires and activates all areas of our lives. Next thing we know, our relationship with God is deeper and more fulfilling, our desire to surrender our lives to him in all areas grows, and passion stirs for others to know this amazing God we serve. God is vibrant, He is fun, He is full of life and love! When we live abundantly, we give more glory to the God who gave us life.
Perhaps you feel so far from living the fullness of life God has for you. Maybe you feel stuck in a rut. We all go through those seasons. Here's some guideposts that can help you cultivate a life of vibrancy.
1. Get Out And Actually Do Things
So where do you even begin? Practically, with things you can actually do. And that’s just it…you need to get out and actually do things! We get so concerned about getting the most out of our lives, that we end up sitting in our houses merely thinking about this challenging question. We end up feeling stuck, paralyzed, and the desire to do things dims simply because we haven't exercised that part of our brain in a while. There is a hope for this stagnant feeling. Change up what you're used to seeing everyday. Begin adventuring. Find out what the locals do wherever you live. Or maybe if you are a local, do something you haven't done in a really long time! Try out something you've never done but always wanted to do. Maybe it’s something you think you'd be super terrible at but still looks like a blast. TRY IT OUT! I can be a perfectionist about things a lot of times, and it only stresses me out. Doing things without perfection can be one of the most relaxing things in the world, and I have to remind myself of this often. Once you begin doing things, you will think of even more things to do. It sounds so simple. So why don't we just do it?
2. Soak in the little details
Now coupled with the previous paragraph I want to state something so important. The things you do don't have to be expensive or elaborate. I find that it's actually the little details that make something so great. If you're going to read a book, find the right nook and light in which to read it. If you're going to run, find the right playlist to listen to. Drive somewhere just for the fun of listening to your car speakers and breathing the fresh air.
Maybe you can even time it just right with the sunset? Buy the coffee of the stranger behind you in line, just because you can. Follow your whims every once in a while! All of this doesn't mean you can’t enjoy some fine dining here and there of course - sometimes that’s just what you need - but enjoy moments, not things.
3. Pursue people
While all of these things can be appreciated by ourselves, we cannot forget the importance of who we are surrounding ourselves with. If you surround yourself with people who desire life to be lived to the fullest, than to the fullest you will live it. Iron sharpens iron, and there's nothing quite like bouncing ideas off of another person - a good old-fashioned brainstorm. The people you're with can make something as simple as a trip to the grocery store the most hilarious moment of your week. Pursue people, new and old. Include them in the little and big things. Share stories, as well as create new ones. Dream with people. People just like you, and people so different from you. Throw out the latest thing you have been pondering. Ask questions! Talk to strangers. You’d be surprised how many people crave simply being known.
4. find excitement in productivity
Now, I need to knock out one common lie that smothers us into survival mode: “It is not possible to enjoy life and handle responsibility. We must choose one or the other.” This lie forces us to pick between two things that we were created to do well: a life of productivity and efficiency, or actually enjoying things. The truth is that we can do both! The proverbs are loaded with reasons to be a hard worker, to prepare ahead of time, and to steward well what the Lord gives us. But in that same Bible we also read: You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Ps. 16:11) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10). The two go hand in hand. We need to move from picking one, and instead figure out how we can incorporate them both. The two were not meant to be a burden to each other, especially when you're doing what you love. Discover a job where you believe in what you're doing. When there is passion to your productivity, you begin to see life in a whole new way!
5. Intentional gratitude
A little perspective shift is in good health every once in a while. (Actually, more than just every once in a while.) We can get our gaze so fixated on one situation or issue that we forget to step back and appreciate our lives thus far. Gratitude seriously changes things. It not only shifts perspective - it produces contagious joy. Reminiscing is one of my favorite things to do. Bringing up a favorite memory to a friend, and getting every laugh imaginable out of it. It always inspires me to keep track of what really matters and hold on to that when I get a little uptight and stressed. So please, remember what you are thankful for and especially who you are thankful for. Take moments throughout your day to stop and literally practice gratitude. Insert it into the good situations, and especially into the tough moments. Begin to see things in a fresh way and watch your joy level break through the roof.
Imagine a world where we all each made it a point to live our lives to the fullest. What problems could be solved? What would be discovered and created? How many more people would come to know Jesus?!
I hope this blog leaves you discontent with sitting back and simply surviving. Step out of the mundane and cultivate vibrancy in your life. The world is ready for you to live!
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Hannah Suggs | YWAM Orlando Staff