Because of my recent experiences, I have been pondering life and death. This verse has been rolling around in my head....
I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. John 10:9-11 (Msg)
It's made me think of the stages of my life....and my understanding of it. Here are some of my ponderings and random thoughts.
In the beginning....I tried to just get through "my life". As a kid growing up there were things about my family I wanted to hide - secrets I didn't want others to know about. Life was all about trying to "hide and survive"....and very lonely and scary.
During college...I got married! My life and understanding of it changed a lot. I had to learn to share my life - and share of myself. To begin to live those catchy Christian words - transparent and authentic. (Even though I wasn't a Christ follower yet.) Life was no longer lonely - but not "full" - and still scary!
As a twenty-somthingish adult, Jesus works through a small group to transform my understanding of life - living in community. Wow - I become a Christ follower - sort of dog paddle that for awhile (not really going anywhere) and then Kimpa signs us up for a small group. My life will never be the same. I start learning about Christ, God, the Holy Spirit. I start seeing outside of myself and have a chance to be a blessing to others and allow myself to be blessed. I am carried through times of crisis, chaos, and grief - and help carry and encourage others. My life is becoming "full" - I am no longer lonely and scared. I still have lots of questions but I can start to see those other catchy Christian words actually happening - spiritual growth / transformation.
Today - My perceptions continue to change. Yeah, I love life and it feels full (in a fabulously grand way) ...but now I ponder if I live love in my daily experiences. I know that the fullness of my life isn't reserved just for the future - but for the now. And I have discovered that I can experience that by trying to allow myself to act and react through the eyes, ears, and heart of Jesus. That I may experience fullness in sacrifice, messy relationships, and in the presence of God.
That is my prayer today - that I not only love life....but that I may live a life of love now, today, to the glory of God.