Christianity is more than just a question of where you will spend eternity; it is a choice of who you are following? Eternal life is more about who is on the journey with you than where the journey leads. If we are walking with Jesus we can trust the destination to Him. A Christian then should be more focused on his or her relationship with Jesus than on performing in such a way as to be rewarded with heaven. Christianity is more about allowing the King of Heaven into your life than merely getting you into Heaven.
I have discovered that the journey of the Christian life is far more exciting and fun when you focus on who is with you than where you are or where you are going. Christ promised to “never leave nor forsake us.” Christ empowers each of us to face the issues of each day. Our challenge is to live this day! To live in this moment and not the past nor the future is truly contentment. To be present to this day and to each other is real living. You and I are alive right now. Breathing and exhaling is the gift of life that is ours by His Mercy.
And the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)
I have come to understand that we must see ourselves as living souls who belong not to our own self but to God who made us and who loves us. To come to this understanding is to accept an invitation to hold life, relationships, and possessions loosely, recognizing that nothing is really ours but that we belong to God and to all that is around us – our family, neighborhood, communities of work and worship, our country, our neighbors in the world, and the earth that sustains us all.
This reality has brought me a peace and contentment that is rarely found in a world that is driven to succeed, whatever that means. Rather than living in the light of His Presence, many live in the shadows of progress which is a consumer-driven market eager to shape our desires and replace holy contentment with an insatiable hunger. Instead of living souls, breathing in His life, they have become avid consumers.
We are eternal beings accountable and belonging to God. I admit that I would rather sleep than keep a prayer vigil, and I would rather eat than fast. And I know that I am not alone. We live in a world that believes that freedom is found in our self-determination. This is a world that calls us from the pursuit of God to the pursuit of self-actualization and self-fulfillment thus replacing sacrifice and self-denial. But we know that real freedom comes as we surrender self to He who is the source of our life. God ultimately has our highest and best in mind.
The economy in which we now live depends on keeping people discontented, so that they will keep buying the new and improved products that will bring them contentment and thus drive our economy. In the midst of this economy the Church must offer the “economy of the Kingdom.” We must remain “living souls” rather than “self-absorbed individuals.” Human beings focused on being “themselves” become nothing more than consumers in search of satisfaction, contentment and peace the latest and greatest product.
The Church must stand in contrast to this world’s economy and live as people who are content and at peace with breathing the very “breath of God.” We were created to be “living souls,” not “consumers for our self.” That is “Abundant Life.” Contentment, peace, joy and freedom are the results of our relationship with God and His Christ not in owning or possessing people or things.