It seems that in the last several weeks, my work has placed me alongside folks who are working through difficult health or relational issues, or dealing with death. Of course, that is a significant part of the work of a minister, walking with people through the events of their lives.
What has given me pause is that I have become aware of how much energy and resources we spend in trying to avoid death. Duh, you say? Of course, we want to avoid death and poor health! Think about how many of the following you are bombarded with everyday: exercise programs to make you feel younger, medical newsletters packed with information, the latest and greatest machine to keep you in shape, the most recent discovery of a miracle food or substance to cure us, new talk shows popping up to help you learn how to avoid old age, pain, and death! It is staggering.
Now, there is nothing wrong with avoiding bad health and death, but I wonder…are we spending so much time and resources on avoidance practices that we miss life?
Jesus said in John 10:10-“I have come that you might have life, abundant life.” So I ponder…might we spend our time and resources better focusing on the things that bring us life, rather than spending so much time on what we should be avoiding?
Do we miss a gift of life sent our way by our loving God because we are too focused on avoiding pain? Are we afraid of so many things in our living that we miss the life and blessing that God offers in the very things we decided to avoid? Do we really trust that God is for us, and will keep us in His hands?
My prayer for all of us this year is that God will help each of us learn to live a little more into the life, abundant life, He offers. As we make the journey of life together, let’s share what we are learning that makes for life together. In that way, we can live …not just avoid death.