Existence vs Life
I’ve been thinking a lot about life lately. Not in some wild-eyed, mid-life crisis sort of way but in the… I guess you could say, practical kind of way. And I don’t mean that I’ve been thinking about the practicalities of life (like what kind of sandwich to put in my kid’s lunch box tomorrow… although I have recently been considering that too… but I’m getting off topic.)
Here’s what I mean: as I read the Bible (which I do from time to time) there’s ONE, real consistent message that I feel like Jesus is trying to get across to us. And I feel like He says it over and over because frankly we don’t get it.
And it makes me think that Jesus probably knows how it feels (just a little bit) to mother two small children. Because I feel like I spend a lot of my life saying the same thing over and over. Please for the love, just listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth and do what they’re saying. I spend my life just trying to find some magical language or interpretive dance that would help to communicate PUT YOUR EVER-LOVING SOCKS ON YOUR FEET WE NEED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE. (So far screaming seems to be the only thing that works.)
And the thing that Jesus keeps saying over and over again in different ways to different people through parables and examples (I’m pretty sure He woulda stooped to interpretive dance if it existed back then) was, LIVE. He wanted us to know that He has life – real, raw, good, true, hard, beautiful life to offer us.
Yet, we often settle for existence. We settle for making it work and muddling through. Because existence is pretty easy. Existing doesn’t require anything more from me than I’m already giving. And frankly that’s good because I don’t feel like I have anything. more. to. give.
We settle for the dry, card-board like, gluten-free version of life that promises to be just like real life…but who are we kidding? And all the while Jesus is shouting: LOOK UP! Life is bursting forth all around. Embrace it – LIVE! And you know what? I want to. I want life that’s messy and good and hard and awesome. I want to come to the end and say “MAN! I squeezed every ounce of life out of that life.” I want to stop settling and start living. Who’s in?
(This is a guest blog by our good friend Dawn Neldon. We’ve been “doing life” and ministry together since… oh, since she was in high school. She’s still doing ministry, full-time, while riding herd on a couple of kids and a husband – who we’ve also known since high school.)