Living life to the fullest...this is not a new concept or a new saying. But many people forget that full living is even an option. Full living doesn't mean that we pack everything we can into every waking moment. No, it means that we take what life has given us, and we transform it into something beautiful. We can get so caught up in all the little things, hurrying on to the next task, that we forget to live each moment to its fullest potential. It is so easy to do in this day and age when most everything is based on speed and convenience. Instant gratification. But does that gratification sustain? We begin to look for things and ways to make our lives gratifying. As we hurry from task to task, we can't simply enjoy what we are doing...we don't have the time! Have you ever finished a big project, maybe renovating a room in your house, or sewing a new outfit, or creating a new recipe? Whenyou are finished, you tend to relax and enjoy the moment, let it sink in that the task you've spent so much time on is now done. But if we are constantly rushing, we don't get to enjoy what we have had a hand in creating. Or think of it this way...You've just finished redoing that room, put the final touches in the decorations, now you want to invite others over. You want to share the new works you've created. This is what is in our nature. We want to enjoy life and share beautiful moments with others. And this is what God has called us to do!
The tricky part about full living is that we can't do it alone. We will try to, and the gratification we feel will sustain for a while. But eventually it will disappear, and in its place will be an empty hole. They only way to fill this hole, to achieve full living, is through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 3:19 says that fullness of life comes from God! When we are together with Christ and His empowering Spirit, we are complete. We have all the fullness of God available to us. But we must appropriate that fullness through faith and prayer as we daily live for Him. We can ask the Holy Spirit to fill every aspect of our lives to the fullest. This is how we accomplish a fuller living!
Full living isn't only dependent upon our reliance on God. We have to do our part too. This is probably the toughest aspect of living our lives to the fullest. We can't be lazy and say God will handle it all. True, God can work without us. He doesn't need us. But He wants to work through us. By not doing our share of the work, we aren't living up to the full potential that God has for us. We also can't do it all ourselves without relying on God. Without Him, we will never achieve the fullness, and will only wear ourselves out. The biggest issue for us as human beings is that we fail from time to time, and we hate to fail. We've all done it, but failures are seen as embarrassments. It takes awhile to grow from our failures, our shortcomings. We eventually get there, but the next time we need to make a leap of faith, we are afraid to take that first step.
The first step in living a full life, and the first part of this verse, is to experience. Experience means to personally observe, encounter, or undergoing something. The word is a verb, an action. But it is an action that is done around us, one in which we have very little input. It does, however, imply that we stop long enough to observe or encounter this something. In the verse, we are experiencing the love of Christ. There is absolutely nothing we can do to have input on the fact that God and His Son, Jesus, love us. Nothing! We cannot make Christ love us more by doing great deeds. We cannot make Him love us less by failing. We have no input. We only get to observe, encounter, undergo, feel this love, His beautiful love. In life, we experience all sorts of things. We experience joys, we experience hardships... Again, we have no or very little input in these encounters. We don't have a say in the fact that a loved one has cancer. We don't have much input that a new baby was born in the family when the chances were almost nonexistent. But we get to experience these events. And just like in the verse, we aren't going to understand. We won't be able to comprehend all of what we encounter. It implies, however, that we will try. We will take action and try to understand, to learn about, what we are experiencing. To live fully, we must take some action. We will fail at some point on our own quest to comprehend, but if we do all that we can do, and rely on God for the rest, we are doing what He has asked. Only after we have experienced, after we have taken some action to understand, will we be made complete with fullness of life. It only happens because of God. His love. His power.
Don't be afraid to fail. Don't be too busy to stop and experience. Rely on God. Live life completely and fully!