Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How Would You Rate Your Life?

What Do You Want?
Excerpt adapted from TEN:
How Would You Rate Your Life by Terry A. Smith

I don’t think people want enough. An opinion piece in the New York Times claimed that most of our problems result from wanting too much. I couldn’t agree less. I think we should want more.

Jesus Christ said that His purpose is to give us “life—life in all its fullness” or “more and better life than [you] ever dreamed of” (John 10:10, NCV, MSG). Why would He say that if we aren’t supposed to want it?

How Would You Rate Your Life?
Terry A. Smith

Higher Life Development
Services, Inc.
January 2012
ISBN: 978-1-935245-50-6
249 pages/hard cover/$24.95

The “more and better life than you ever dreamed of” is the future that exists in God’s mind. It’s the dream He has for us. We can tap into this dream and create a preferred future for ourselves and others.

A seminal moment in my life happened when I was eighteen years old. I spent some time with a middle-aged man who was living a relatively uneventful life. He’d experienced moderate success in a career entered on helping people. He had a nice wife and nice kids and a nice house. He was a good and decent man. I liked him a lot.

One day, in kind of a dramatic way, he tried to offer me some life advice from his personal story. “Terry,” he said, “I never asked God for too much. I just told Him I wanted a nice, quiet life and to be able to help a few people along the way. And I told God that I didn’t want to suffer too much. That’s exactly what I have.” I was only eighteen, but at that moment I knew that I wanted more. Maybe instead of telling God what was in his mind, this nice man should have asked God what was in His. I bet God was thinking more—more than this guy had ever dreamed of.

I don’t think many people launch their lives wanting to be average. Regardless, that’s where many of us land. I don’t think wanting less is our God-given first instinct. Somehow, we learn to want less along the way.

You may feel that you are living a life that is good enough. You may be well-educated, have a good job, and involved in a life-changing volunteer organization in your community. But there’s even more out there. Open to the possibility that there are dreams and purpose and meaning inside of you—opportunities you’re not yet aware of.

Or you might be someone who feels your life is not successful and are altogether unfulfilled. You are unsatisfied with how things are turning out and may not be sure if more exists. Many people are bound by a survivor’s mentality because they cannot understand the opportunity to partner with God in creating inspired futures and, ultimately, a better life for themselves, those they love, and even for the world.

In my worldview, a TEN is defined by the gospel of John, chapter TEN, verse TEN. The more and better life. Abundant life. Until we can describe the whole of our lives like this, we are experiencing less than what’s possible. I believe you can experience the best possible future.

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