Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Day 6 Assignment by Jonathan Mead
If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.
Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?
Wow! One word comes to mind: contentment. I think the reason many of us spend so much time trying to prepare ourselves to live is that we aren’t content with where we are, who we are and what we have.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think there is a certain amount of discontent that is good, necessary and spiritual. Without it, we don’t grow. We would become stagnant, being perfectly happy to do nothing because we are content. On the other hand, there is a balance. We can’t be so focused on what we are trying to gain and to perfect that we don’t live in the here and now but only in the distant future.
The Apostle Paul had this to say:
“I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
I think it’s important to note that this statement comes shortly after he instructed us what to keep our minds on: “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
I think if we take these two passages together, it sheds some light on true peace and contentment. The reason people prepare to live in the future instead of living in the now, is because they are focused on lack instead of abundance. They are focused on not having and being enough instead of on the many blessings they have right now which, granted, are just the tip of the iceberg.
God wants to bless us so much more!
But he can’t, as long as we struggle, complain, and focus on lack.
Remember the parable of the sower? Jesus told his disciples:
“For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.”
Are you a “haver” or a “have not-er”? What is your focus on?
If you truly want to be content and enjoy your life not only now, but even more abundantly in the future, then begin to concentrate on the many, many blessings in your life. Start a blessings journal, and each day write 5 things for which you are grateful at the end of the day. Start a blessings photo or video blog. Shift your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have, and be grateful.
#Trust30 Day Six