I have a friend who uses that phrase to describe his focus. It’s a wonderful concept, if you can grasp it, and worth a few minutes of exploration here.
We all have lives to live, and we go about the process of living them in, really, only a few basic ways. First, there are those things that happen TO us in random, unanticipated ways. By this I mean that which we didn’t put into motion, per se, or choose, or participate in foundationally, other than just being there. Like a tree falling across our path or a car running a light and hitting us or winning a prize for being the millionth customer at a business we didn’t even know had a contest going. With any thought at all you can easily think of so many more, as each of us encounters life in a very random way at times.
Then there are the things that happen BECAUSE of us. Those things we did put into motion somehow, make choice about, even plan out and engage in with purpose, intention, and action. Every day, every hour, we are about these things. We begin our day, go through our day, and end our day with intentionality, whether positive or negative in emotion or result.
We could say there is the third area, that of things happening because of OTHERS. However, this is really only a variation of the first two. Either the others are random encounters or they are a part of our circle of choices. It does no good to blame others, does it? No, it doesn’t. We’ve all tried it, so let’s let it go.
If we leave the spiritual component out of the equation all we are left with is this combination of events happening, using words like “bad luck” to describe what we don’t like and a bit of arrogance to describe what we do like, since we will take the credit if it turns out well. “There’s always a faster gun” ultimately ruins the day, and “you can’t take it with you” explains the hopelessness of it all, if, indeed, there is no spiritual component. When we take the supernatural out of our lives we are left with what? Chance? “I did it my way.” Yes, we are left with ourselves only. Alone. And somewhere deep within we know there’s something else going on. We can choose to keep it at bay and live out our days determined to ‘not believe,’ but it certainly doesn’t answer any of our questions, and most certainly doesn’t excite us about this business of living, especially that of living life large!
If there IS a spiritual component- if there IS a spirit at work- if this spirit is the Holy Spirit of God Almighty, oh boy, things take on a much different perspective, to say the least. With a Sovereign God at work I am joined to something much bigger and much more fantastic than I can hardly even comprehend. As soon as we allow ourselves to just admit that One Who Is Bigger is at work things become, well, very interesting. Without even trying to explain anything, or prove any dogma of any religious thought, life takes on an incredible Another-At-Work quality. We begin to realize that there really IS something out there.
We use words to describe how we feel. For example, words like “wonder,” “joy,” “excitement,” and so many more reveal our emotions. But are these words also used to express how we focus our lives? Could they?
What would happen to our daily schedule if we became intentional and focused on God Almighty? What would happen if we tried to let Him lead us through a day; even one day? Is it even possible? How do you know if you haven’t tried it?
You might say that your life is too busy, or too controlled by others, or too filled with commitments, or that you are too powerless to change anything, or a host of other responses. These, of course, are all dodges to stay clear of the “Let Go and Let God” syndrome of fear about spiritual things, much less supernatural stuff. A sad truth is that people who reject God in their lives separate themselves from so much. Like children who refuse to come out of their room because they are mad at mom or dad, they miss a good meal! Mom may ask several times “Come to dinner,” but will leave you in your room if you are so determined. Come out an hour later and what do you find? Dinner is over, the food is put away.
What happens when we leave some room in our schedules for the Holy Spirit to do something? Talk about a journey. Talk about amazing. Talk about fantastic things beginning to happen in our lives when we just make a little room. See? The hyperbole begins to become a part of our lives. Wonder. Joy. Living life large.
None of us really wants to live dull, boring, unexciting lives of duty. Most of us can’t jump on the motorcycle and head off on Route 66 either. To live life large means to get the excitement now, in the midst of our everyday stuff, regardless of the random happenings TO us. In fact, isn’t it possible that the Holy Spirit could be the One sending the random things our way? Wouldn’t a purposeful decision to make room for Him make some sense? It’s not just choosing to have a positive attitude, because at times bad things happen to good people and it’s very frustrating to our super-spiritual explanations of it all.
The thing is to find the wonder of it all in EVERYTHING. Putting on spiritual lenses and looking for what God is up to will open up an entirely “new” realm, sort of superimposed upon the “normal” one. When Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be “born again,” I think He was telling him that he needed to see things differently. A New Covenant was about to be made, and it would change everything! As good as the Law was, Nicodemus, something even better is about to happen! What you’ve been waiting for all these years is here, now, standing in front of you! Eternal life you don’t have to earn! Forgiveness for your sins that you can’t possibly sacrifice enough animals for!
So here is the opportunity- live life large! Begin now. Look for something, even right now, that might somehow be of God. Make some room in your day for more of this pursuit, and you’ll discover words like “wonder,” “excitement,” and “joy” returning to your conversation. Why not even ASK the Lord to show you how to begin? Oh boy…