Friday, January 25, 2008

Life to the full

Back in November I started a thread on the Ship of Fools discussion boards about what Jesus meant when he said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." A few days ago I added this, which I've posted here, on my own little Teapot webspace, because as I've reflected on it, I've found that these things give me a helpful framework and reminder of what is important, and I thought I'd keep them where they can be an easy reminder of what I'm aiming for:

"I was walking down the street the other day and I passed a family* and as I looked at them this whole discussion came back to my mind. There was something in their appearance and expressions that seemed hollow and though I of course don't know their circumstances at all, it prompted me to imagine. (Imagine both the hollowness of some lives - though maybe not theirs - and the things that might bring the fullness we've been talking about). So, thinking of such a family, as well as the things that I feel make life satisfying, and what we've come up with already here's my suggestions for what might bring about "fullness of life"...
People - to love, spend time with, care for and be loved by (unloneliness!)
Food - sufficient to fuel our bodies as well as to enjoy in itself as we enjoy the tastes of the fruits of the earth and the fellowship that's possible as we eat with others (Jesus seemed to do plenty of fellowshipping and educating over meals).
And shelter.
Love - overlaps with the people aspect of course, but that deep sense of being loved and accepted, by God and by others.
Beauty - Opportunity to enjoy beauty, whether that's the beauty of a sunset or mountainrange or perfect plan of a new bridge, or a painting (each to their own!). Eyes open to creativity.
Creativity - opportunties to be creative, whether in the arts or building, work or play, growing things, learning, or in messy stuff with children, or parenting, or writing, or making practical things (each to their own again).
Achievement - that feeling of a sense of achievement at tiny or huge things, in work and free-time. Close links between creativity, achievement and contribution?
Fun - times for light-heartedness, companionship, games, sport... just fun!
Contribution - sense of purpose and not living in an isolated bubble.
God - the purpose, acceptance, hope, forgiveness... that comes from being in the relationship with God that (speaking as a Christian) I believe we were made for.
I suppose as I look at that list it gives me a sense of how to be truly human. And I think essentially that fullness of life comes from not only experiencing these things but essentially for being unselfish in enabling others to experience them.
All that from walking past a family on the way home and hoping for them!

*a man, a woman, a child in a buggy and two young children walking with them; appearing worn out, perhaps with low income and no employment, perhaps a difficult relationship... of course these things are imagined as I thought about any family for whom these were the circumstances and what would bring them fullness of life."


At January 26, 2008 10:00 pm, Blogger Gern said...

This was very beautiful....thank you


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