Coaching Corner: Your BIG Life
- Monday, June 27, 2005
It’s a Big Life you’re called to lead. There’s a Big Dream in your heart, placed there by God Himself. You know it’s there, even though, like most of us, you lose track of it from time to time. It bubbles up in you, though, most every day. It comes upon you as a persistent desire for something more out of life. A desire to do something more. A desire to be something more. You know, deep down, that there’s got to be more to your life than this.
It’s like you’re being summoned to a Higher Purpose, and a Bigger Life. Because, in fact, you are.
But there’s a difficult truth we have to face. Living a Big Life is hard. It takes work and sacrifice, and most of all, a lot of faith. Leading a small life is far easier and more comfortable. However ultimately dissatisfying, a small, cozy, ordinary life is far less threatening. To die from a slow painless bleed seems better on the surface than to perish in the manner of a hero like William Wallace in the movie "Braveheart."
But then, no one around us would be set free.
The real question is this: On what will you spend your life? For it will surely be spent on something, whether consciously chosen or not. If you must spend it, why not then spend it for something as big and meaningful as God’s big dream for you? To spend it on your own comfort or glory is the height of egocentricity. To spend it on trying to keep your heart “safe” is wholly insane. As Helen Keller so rightly pointed out, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”
To choose the greater way — not the way of safety or comfort — is to abandon your life to a Greater Power and a Greater Purpose. It is to dive headlong into the rapids, knowing full well that in the moment you do, you relinquish your rights to choose your own course. The ride through this world is no longer yours. Your job now is simply to stay in the main flow of the current, to enjoy the thrill and glory of the ride and the beauty of the surroundings. And to laugh for the joy you have found in surrendering your life to a Higher Call.
Isn't that the life you've always wanted, anyway? Of course it is. Because it is precisely the life you were designed to live.
Why then don't we all jump in — surrender our hearts and lives to the greater good and purpose of God — without hesitation?
Self-life. The self-absorbed, sometimes panicked obsession to be your own greater power. To be your own God. To surrender — not to a Good and Power greater than yourself — but to yourself ... bowing to the deepest compulsion of the “I, Me, Mine,” which always by one means or another is obsessed with securing your own comfort, safety and glory. (My Christian friends call this the “flesh” or the “carnal nature”; my nonChristian friends call it the ego. But we all know what I'm talking about.)
Truly satisfying the compulsion to secure your own comfort, safety and glory, however, is a task that’s beyond your reach. Like Gollum’s obsession with the One Ring in "The Lord of the Rings", we become obsessed with the pursuit of possessing the “Precious Mine” (however we define that), not realizing that the pursuit itself is slowly bleeding our souls dry, and will eventually kill us — just as it did Gollum.
The deep lie that we believe (i.e. that we have the power to secure our own safety, comfort and glory) effectively leads us to create a life that’s the very opposite of what we truly want. By making our own safety, comfort and glory our all-consuming goal, we lead ourselves down a dangerous path that actually robs our soul of any comfort at all, and eventually deadens our hearts to the deep truth of who God created us to be. It is for good reason that Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it” (Matthew 16:25).
You were made for a Big Life. God had a reason for creating you in particular — with your unique mix of skills, talents and personality. He has a specific adventure in mind for you. I don’t know exactly what His dream is for you, but I can tell you this: It isn’t small. It’s big, and it’s scary. And until you surrender your life to it, you will never know true fulfillment in this world.
This week, make these words of Martin Luther King, Jr., your prayer: “Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”
Michael D. Warden is a Professional Co-Active Coach, nationally certified through the Coaches Training Institute, and a member of the International Coach Federation. Michael’s clients’ one common trait is their passion to live a bigger life — to discover what they're here for, and boldly go after that vision with confidence and authenticity. Find more on his life and work at www.michaelwarden.com.
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