Choose to Live Extraordinarily
- Thursday, August 06, 2009
Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
This profound statement was made by the man who led a resistance during the Wars of Scottish Independence, depicted in the movie Braveheart. He was speaking not to seasoned warriors, but rather fellow farmers, tradesmen and landowners, as he challenged these simple men to step out from their rather routine lives to do something extraordinary—to stand up and fight against the tyranny of the English.
Likewise, God calls each of us—many out of what we think are our mundane everyday lives—to do something extraordinary, to really live for Him.
“We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).
Braveheart was shown at the outset of my church’s men’s retreat to encourage and inspire us, the biblically-called leaders in our church, to not accept the status quo of life but to lead and to live a life abundantly.
As believers and as Americans, we are blessed to have endless freedoms, a lengthy life span and the knowledge of eternal life. This gives us the foundation and capacity to change the world, if we choose. However, Ralph Waldo Emerson cautions, “It is not length of life, but depth of life.”
Who and what are you living for? How deep are you choosing to live your life?
A Life Worth Living
Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
I recently saw a heartbreaking, yet encouraging short video called 99 Balloons where this statement was extraordinarily lived out. It can be viewed here.
This documentary chronicled the story of Eliot Mooney, a baby stricken with Trisomy 18 or Edward’s syndrome, a genetic disorder. Most fetuses diagnosed with this illness rarely survive to birth, Eliot did.
His parents, Matt and Ginny Mooney, lived by the aphorism, “You can’t change what happens, it’s all about how you choose to live your day.” What they chose was to celebrate each day of the life of their son, documenting it with a letter to him.
The Mooney’s story is not only inspirational, but serves as a lesson for us to receive and live every day as a gift from God.
Their story has been viewed by millions of people, and in Eliot’s short life of 99 days, he has probably touched more lives around the world than many of us will in 99 years.
Oftentimes it is difficult to find any positives throughout a day (especially from the media), and it becomes almost customary to focus on the negatives in our life. However, don’t allow your circumstances to dictate how you see your life or how you live your life. Our outlook, even in the direst of situations, can inspire, encourage and lead others to greatness.
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1).
Invest in Others
Focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose.
—Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life
Through his best-selling book, Pastor Rick Warren changed the way many of us looked at ourselves by reminding us our life is not about us.
However, in the midst of all of the challenges we face each day—professionally, relationally and economically, it is sometimes difficult to take our eyes off of ourselves and to focus on a greater purpose. It’s similar to driving in a snow storm at night. Most of your attention becomes fixated on the falling snow in the headlights, rather than on the road and where you are headed.
I am reminded of a man who was personally and professionally in financial ruins. He was trying to support his family, had no money to his name, deficient funds in his business and was told he was worth more dead than alive. His name was George Bailey, the banker and protagonist in Frank Capra’s movie, It’s a Wonderful Life.
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