Today,I read a blog post I wrote a year ago, and it surprised me how much it resonated with me 365 days later. It was all about the invitation top live a beautiful life, and it started out with a quote by Bob Goff. I mentioned I had never met him–little did I know I would meet him TWICE last year. Wow, the Lord is so good!!
Anyways, here’s the quote:
“There is only one invitation it would kill me to refuse, yet I’m tempted to turn it down all the time. I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It doesn’t come in an envelope. It’s ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the sound of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It’s the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this life for one more day. Nobody turns down an invitation to the White House, but I’ve seen plenty of people turn down an invitation to fully live.”
I love this because it touches on a fear I’ve always kept around in the back of my head: if truly follow Jesus, I will no longer enjoy my life. I know this may sound ridiculous, but there is this nagging suspicion that if I’m completely devoted to God, i will be covered in sack cloth, carrying a cross and suffering for Christ every moment if the day. It’s easy to equate misery with holiness.
This is not to say life will not be tough. My gosh, life is full of ups and downs, and there are many days I wonder what in the world God could possibly be making of my life. It’s in these moments I should remember that God has invited me to live a life of adventure and fun and beauty and laughter and love. How do I know this?
Because the sun rose in brilliant colors this morning. My coffee tasted like pure bliss. I couldn’t stop smiling all morning for so many reasons. Every day we are given a hand written invitation from the Maker of the Stars to go All in and love others and love this world he has created for us. True devotion to God should be accompanied by inexplicable joy and wonder. My dear friend likens it to a kid on Christmas morning, overcome by the wonder of his little world. I think God wants us to approach life like that.
We have enough supposed Christians who are miserable. We have enough news networks spreading darkness. We are overrun by Pharisees spreading the gospel of misery and power at the expense of others. Judas knew all about the power and pride it took to feel worthy of Jesus, but he had no understanding of the nature of Jesus, and so he was able to betray Jesus–because he didn’t truly know him. I don’t think John could have ever betrayed Jesus because he knew him too well.
It would be so easy for us to betray Jesus by turning down the life he has given us. It would be so easy to spend our lives feeling holy and oh so miserable, but we would be spitting in the face of Calvary, because Christ died that we might have life more abundantly. I want to know Jesus so well I couldn’t think of walking away from his ways, because I would miss him too much. Life with Jesus is a perpetual feast and an eternal adventure. Satan wants it always be Winter but never Christmas, and at times, I’ve bought into his schemes.
But no more.
You are hereby invited and beckoned and wooed to live a FULL, JOYFUL, life. ~~~The Maker of the Stars
Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. 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.
11-13 “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him.
14-18 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.”