Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Really Living? Most of Us Miss It

When is the last time you felt really alive? In fact, when is the last time you noticed something more than the fact that you were just existing? I would suggest that most of us miss the opportunity most of the time.

Why? Well, it's not because we're not breathing or our heart is not beating.

It's just that there's not that much we enjoy that takes our breath away or causes our heart to skip a beat. Of course there are lots of opportunities. We are usually just too busy doing the everyday and the mundane to truly engage with the spark in every one of us known as life.

I know it's not fun to be out of breath or to have a racing heart but we would at least notice our body functioning in some unique way and be reminded that we are not dead. In fact, noticing would be hard to avoid.

You see we need something that jolts us out of our cruise-controlled life and reminds us that the life within us is truly special, unique and ultimately amazing. Pain works. So does shock or tragedy or some other sudden interruption of our normalcy.

But there are other and better ways to be reminded of and enjoy life without the negative prompts. We might also want to engage in them more and even give our family members similar opportunities on a more regular basis.

Slow down. Instead of driving the fast way home, take the long way. Turn the radio off. Walk instead of drive. Skip an evening responsibility and stay home. Simplify your days even a little. I hear of more and more people these days who are downsizing. They have realized they don't need it all. Neither do you.

Do what you were meant to do as much as what you have to do. Some things in life are boring and required. Everything doesn't have to be fun nor can it be. But somewhere in our week, month and year we need to engage in what we naturally do and love. Use those skills to serve others and pay it forward. Find a ministry that gives you the opportunity to do what you can't live without and you'll feel alive most very time.

How do you know what that is?  I don't have an easy answer other than you'll know. You will do it with very little effort, the time will fly and it will probably involve other people.

Spend more time with the people you love and just enjoy watching them live, breathe and move. Become amazed at their talent, artistry, uniqueness and abandon. Sing, dance and enjoy with them if you can. And don't rush whatever you are doing. Let it simmer. Embrace the moments more.

Little children are a great place to start. So are seniors or those with special needs. Just start looking and you'll see what you need to see.

Pray for wisdom to keep learning where life will show up for you. Feeling alive isn't a one-time thing. Once you get a taste you will want more but you will have to fight off the inertia that will try to keep you from more and returning to the sameness of life beforehand. Don't give in.

Everyday those lifegiving opportunities are everywhere. We don't need to hunt for them. They will find us if we let them and we'll never be the same.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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