DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS OF ABUNDANT LIFE
Who doesn't want an abundant life? We all might define it differently, but we all want it. The Bible has a lot to say about this topic, as does Madison Avenue. While their respective depictions differ, both promise much the same thing...Vitality, Joy, Happiness. I would also add Purpose, Significance, and Meaning. You don't hear much about that from Madison Avenue.
My idea of an abundant life is one that is full of all these things. Now I have ran after many kinds of pleasures, possessions, pursuits, and positions in my life. Never, in any of these things, did I gain life in abundance. I did get tired and burned out.
In all that I discovered three guiding principles that have created a more abundant life for me. Maybe these can guide you as well...
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1. Focus on your mission, not your job. Once I found a cause, a mission, greater than myself, life began to be lived differently. The 'job' was a vehicle to accomplish the mission. It could be any job so long as it helped me serve the nobility of the cause. When that became my mission then the rat race, the bowl of cherries, the paycheck (insert whatever description of existence you want) became less significant.
2. Recognize the journey. I began to see what I do today, this week, this month, or even the next five years as just part of the longer journey. The crisis's, heartbreaks, ailments, set-backs, disappointments, and frustrations are markers along the road. The same is true of the triumphs, the happy moments, the child births, the weddings, the birthdays and anniversaries, the raise at work, and the promotion. Each by themselves are not the end or instance of existence, just a stop along a grand expedition into eternity.
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3. Scrap your timetable. This was the biggest adjustment for me to make. Patience is not one of my virtues. Just ask my wife at a restaurant that has more than a 10 minute wait! This also is more about who you are than what you do. I've learned to accept that my mission and journey has more to do with who I become and less with what I get done. My timetable is based upon working to becoming that person.
A mission bigger than myself, an always unfolding lifelong journey, and a supernatural transformation is exciting to me. That is living with super-abundance!