Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The One Way to Truly Live Fulfilled

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Phillipians 1:21

It's the question whispered at graduation parties.  Some answer with ready smiles.  Others chew the inside of their lips, nervous, scuffing the ground with the toe of their graduation-day shoes.

It's the same question I ask my husband every year or so, during those hard, late night conversations when the future feels so uncertain.  That muscle in his cheek clenches.  I look away.

"What do you WANT?  What do you want to DO with your life?  What are your plans?"

Ironic.  If the question was posed to me, I'd have a half dozen answers.  I've got more than enough dreams to fill a lifetime of lists.  That's why that answer of his confounds me.

"I don't know.  I've told you that."

We decided my path a long time ago.  That's why I'm not the one being asked.  Maybe that's why this answer feels like a hard kick to my chest.  I love my life.  I would not live out these years any other way than right here, baby on my lap, the center of my home.  But were I the one asked?  I'd take that chance, chase that dream, touch those stars.

Or so I think, until one day it comes to me and when it dawns I cannot believe it took me a lifetime to truly see.  A lifetime of listening but not hearing.  Not understanding the One true way to live a life completely fulfilled.

We're asking all the wrong questions.

The Kingdom is no place for self promotion.  Maybe that's why the question of what one wants out of life can ring so false.  The 5 step plans to the best careers and biggest paychecks fail to live up to their much hyped promises.  People put in 100 hour work weeks at their supposed dream jobs and come home empty.  How can this be so?

Wrong questions yield wrong answers.

If life is all about fulfilling earthly desires then yes, by all means, it makes sense to do as we please.  But if, as I suppose, life is a twisting path through a narrow gate to that great City on a Hill, maybe what we want really doesn't matter as much as we think it does.  Is it enough to spend our vapor completely on the promotion of self?

Tonight, after small people are tucked into bed, the dinnertime candles are blown out and we stand together in the dark, listening to the dishwasher churn, I'll ask a different question.  I see my error, and I think I've finally got the right one.  One that we can hold onto together, one that can give us a bit of hope, together.

"What does God want from us?"

It could be life changing.

It's Lent and I can feel it, deep down inside, my heart is thawing.  Spring is on His way.


  1. As I type this comment, a friend of mine is delivering her 34-week gestation baby that hasn't had a heart beat detected and I know they're hurting but clinging to God. I loved this post for reasons I can't seem to type out, but I feel like it was perfect timing for me to read this. As I find myself on the horizon of being a stay-at-home momma soon I've let the daunt of doing the "same old, same old" thing with little children day after day kinda scare me. But when I look at life through eternal eyes I see that my work is for Jesus. As should the work of my husband venturing out to his teaching career come this fall. But when I ask myself and my husband what God wants from us and His children, I'm able to evaluate even the toughest of situations with eternal eyes. There's something sweeter in life when its viewed in such a way. Thanks for sharing this.


  2. Oh Aubrey! My heart breaks for your friend. I pray that God will be their comfort during this difficult time. There are no words I could say, no way I could comprehend that amount of hurt.

    For me, the only way to find comfort and solace in so many of the uncertainties of life is to look at it with eternal eyes - and look to Him for my life's purpose. If we live life and do all things for Him, not for selves or even for others, life takes on a much sweeter purpose.

    Blessings on you today!

  3. This is something my husband and I have been struggling with lately. And for us, the words of Psalm 51: 10-13 ring true: "Create in me a pure heart, O God,and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. THEN (emphasis mine) I will teach transgressors your ways,so that sinners will turn back to you." A cleansing and a His time and for His purposes. ♥

  4. Oh what a blessing to see that we are not the only ones. Thank you for this. I just emailed the link to my husband as we were talking about this just last night (and it seems every day for the past few years). He's unhappy with long hours working in a position that he doesn't care about. The problem is, the pay is great. So it's a struggle whether or not to pursue "dreams" or hold fast to what God has provided.

    Do you have any words of encouragement that help your husband at times like these?

  5. A friend recently introduced me to your blog, and while I've only had time to read a few entries, I'm amazed at your insight and wisdom! Not only do you write very well, but your topics are thought-provoking and faith-feeding.

    There is one tiny thing and it's only because I'm a little bit of a stickler for grammar: sometimes the interchange of "its" and "it's" in the blog distracts me (saying "its" for "it is" instead of "it's", and "it's" for the possessive "its").

    I look forward to visiting your blog often and keeping up with what's going on in your life and the new lessons that God is teaching you everyday. :)

    God bless!

  6. Tatiana - I admit, I'm a bit of a failure at encouraging my husband. Working on that these days, trying to not only support him but encourage him to continue to seek God's will for this life of ours!

    Anonymous - thank you for pointing out my mistake! I must say, this blog is sure to be full of mistakes. I usually just write for a few moments and click "submit" without a whole lot of editing, due to time constraints. I appreciate your comment and will try to remember for the future!

  7. I have no idea why this particular entry popped up on my screen today...perhaps a little hand got ahold of the computer and one click led to another. Anyway, I sat down to read this in the quiet and couldn't help but giggle. My husband is a Pastor and recently they've been working on "5 year plans". He is NOT a planner and this always bothers him, he says you can't predict the needs of a congregation so far in the future so his response when asked what he wants out of life, what his goals are "To show Christ's love to all I meet, preach the gospel and try not get killed." He then usually adds that anything else he does is just a bonus from God. Ha! You can encourage your husband that he's not alone in not knowing what his earthly life will look like.


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