A few weeks after Christmas at the beginning of this year we lost my aunt unexpectedly. There is nothing like losing a loved one, to remind us of the preciousness of life and time.
My aunt got whisked into glory to be with Jesus, which as I have always said is very nice for the person getting whisked, but not so nice for those they leave behind. We know where she is and that she is incredibly happy and free of any cares or difficulties, but all the same we miss her; her love, her presence and the impact that we are realising more and more that she had on so many people.
My aunt was a great example of someone who always chose life. But what does this actually mean?
We can make decisions to choose life every day, something I am more consciously doing after meditating on my aunt’s life, who she was and what she stood for.
We have a choice. Choice number one is; to live passively, in re-active mode, where we simply react to inputs that come our way. We believe that circumstances can’t change and the best stance is to stand as strong as we can to withhold life’s storms. This mind-set leads to us concentrating on getting ready for the next storm. If there are no problems and life is comfortable we simply live life year after year enjoying the ‘comfortableness’. This choice fosters a mind-set of merely surviving and pursuing a comfortable life. Standing strong is admirable, but this passive approach to life means we compromise all that God has for us. His choice for us is an abundant life. The Bible says a people without vision perish. (Proverbs 29:18)
The second choice is what I’m going to call choosing life. If we adopt the belief that there is always more and God wants us to live an abundant life, we can move from living passively to living proactively. In this place, we believe that life is meant for way more than simply surviving the ‘storms’ that life throws at us. We believe that we can have a vision that is outrageously optimistic beyond todays circumstances. Each and every challenge can be an area where we work on carrying abundant hope and developing a vision for positive change. Our capacity to envision grows and we start to develop a vision for the miraculous work of a supernatural God to bring things about that totally go beyond any logical possibilities or reality. Developing this kind of vision for our lives is our destiny as people of faith, overcomers and children of an amazing God.
We can pro-actively choose life in this way every day in small ways. In fact, cultivating this mind-set everyday helps us mature into becoming bigger visionaries carrying vision and hope for things that will impact the whole world.
I was talking to my mother, who is 78 years old, last week, about starting to choose life more even in her older age. How do you have vision at 78, when you have a frail body, limited mobility which restricts you from leaving the house and a forgetful mind? I dared mum to pray some outrageous prayers that God would use her in the way that she would most enjoy. “Mum ask Jesus to send you people to talk to about Him. You could bring ten more people to Him during 2018”. Mum’s face lit up, she had not even thought of daring to believe or ask for such things. “Well I suppose maybe five people,” she said. Great we now have a vision! The Bible promised that we can bear fruit even in our old age (Psalm 92:14). Also, when we are weak we are strong as His power is perfected in us (2 Corinthians 12:10)
Choosing Life Everyday
Every morning when you wake up, choose life. Spend 10 or more minutes while you get ready for the day, thinking through what would make it the best day ever. Visualise how you would like any meetings with people to go. What blessings would you like to see poured out on the time you spend with people, for them and you? Visualise how you would like your work projects to go. What would make today’s work amazing, too good to be true? Health wise, what would make today better than it’s been for weeks? Commit your desires for the day to God and let Him work alongside you to make it happen.
As you do this for the little everyday things, you’ll be amazed at how you’ll see things change around you. The atmosphere you carry will change. Your joy will increase. Your hope will increase. Your vision will increase. Your faith of what is possible will increase. You will be cultivating a whole new way of thinking. You can progress onto envisioning; what would make this year, the best year yet of my life? The Bible says a desire fulfilled is a tree of life (Proverbs 13:12). It also says, ‘As a man thinks so is he’ (Proverbs 23:7)
I coach people to think long term asking the bigger questions. For example, what do I want my life to count for? What would make this life the best one I could have lived? There are many ways of growing a vision, for your day, your year and your whole life. Don’t be in the crowd that simply reacts, passively waiting for life to happen, choose life! Explore and step into the abundant life that Jesus died to give each and every one of us each day.
Check out our forthcoming Destiny Activator Programmes to explore what an abundant life could look like for you!