“And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.'”Mark 16:15
These days I feel like all I hear my fellow 20-year-olds talk about is how they want to live life to the fullest.
I kind of laugh to myself every time someone says this because what exactly is living life to the fullest? And how do you know that you are living your life to the fullest? Is it ranked on a scale of adventures you’ve had? Places you’ve been? People you’ve met? Or is it simply something you feel inside?
I laugh when people say this because it is such a young person thing to say. You never hear a fifty-year-old woman saying she needs to live life to the fullest. I feel like its a common trend amongst young people who think you need to travel, build success, and create a life filled with adventure before you’re thirty.
When I was in college I had an English teacher who gave us three tips on living life to the fullest. She told us to live thinkingly, lovingly, and prayerfully. She argued that we can live a full life, and get it right, as long as we make the right decisions.
I thought to myself, but what is right? And how do we know what is right? Well, actually I asked this to the class. She responded and said if we lived a life walking alongside God, and listened to his words we would live a full life.
Now, I go to a Christian college, so this is not uncommon for an English teacher to speak of God in the classroom. She ended the discussion by telling us to keep the end in mind.
You, if you’re anything like me, might be thinking, what the heck, that is a depressing way to end such a discussion. But she didn’t mean to always think about your death, she meant always keep in mind that life can be taken away from us at any moment, thus saying we should live like there is no tomorrow.
Now that does not mean to go bridge jumping and cliff diving, but to keep in mind that time is a gift and not to take it for granted. She said “the true essence of life is wisdom,” and after thinking about it for a while I realized what she had meant by all of these statements.
What my teacher was trying to get across was that in order to live life to the fullest, one must live for a reason and that in order to do so we must use wisdom in making the right decisions. Some people will argue that right and wrong are relative, but if you have any set of morals you know deep down what is right, and what is wrong and what will bring repercussions.
As Christians, we know what is right and we know what is wrong.
Often times I think we decide to ignore these teachings because we think our version of life is more fun than God’s version.
This weekend my church hosted our annual missions conference in which missionaries from all over the world come.
If you asked any of them if they regretted their decision to dive fully after God’s calling on their life, not a single one would say yes. They’ve lost wives to disease and children to kidnappers. They’ve faced life-threatening sicknesses, near-death experiences with extremist groups, and watched as villages have been burnt down.
But not a single one regrets their decision to go fully after God because they know they are living their life to the fullest.
They’re not in fancy cars, going on exotic vacations, or getting the perfect Instagram, but they are not only living out The Great Commission but they are running after God with no fear.
When I think about my own life, I wonder how often I switch the world’s definition of “living life to the fullest” with God’s.
Matthew 28:16-20 (The Great Commission) reads:
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”
To live life to the fullest is to run after God head first.
At the end of the day, no monetary success will fill us the way that honors God will.
This doesn’t mean you have to jump on a plane to a foreign country tomorrow, but what it does mean is you should examine what you are more focused on the world’s definition of living life to the fullest, or God’s.
Thoughts For The Day
Are you are more focused on the world’s definition of living life to the fullest, or God’s? What do you consider living life to the fullest?
After reading this piece has your opinion on this changed? If yes, write down your new definition as a reminder.