Coaching Corner: This Isn't the Life I Ordered!
- Michael D. Warden
- 2004 22 Oct
Let me ask you a question: How satisfied are you with your life right now? For some, that can be a tough question to answer off the top of your head. So here's a simple tool I'd like you to use right now to find out. Next to each life category below, rate your current level of satisfaction in that area from 1 to 10 – 10 being "absolutely satisfied in every way."
|Category||Level of Satisfaction|
|Physical Environment(your home, city, region of the world)|
|Contribution/Service(making an impact on your community & the world)|
|Fun & Recreation|
How'd you do? Now let me ask another question: If you really had "life to the full," what would it look like? Now wait. Don't just breeze past the question and keep reading – stop and really think about it. If your life was abundant and full in every way, in every arena of your life, in every relationship, then what would it look like? For example, where would you live? Who would you have with you? What would be your career or ministry? How would you spend your free time? What sorts of things would you find yourself saying about your life? What would other people say about you? What impact would you be making on the world?
Most of us never ask ourselves questions like that. We're too busy wrestling with the monotonous dragons of work and responsibility we face every day, or frantically trying to clear out the rubble-filled path of tasks and to-dos ahead of us, if only to make the walk a little easier for a day or two. We don't have time to think about what a truly abundant life would entail for us. Besides, we realize, doing so would probably only bring us down.
But there's a deeper reason we rarely dream about what a life of true abundance would be like for us. Somewhere inside, we're afraid that if we allow ourselves to dream along those lines, we may have to confront how little we've actually experienced what Jesus came to give: "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:9-10).
It's no wonder that so many of us feel our lives have stalled out some place far short of "abundance." We've faced a lot of challenges, and incurred a lot of hurts along the paths we've trod - not only as singles, but also as sons and daughters, parents, employees and friends.
We've lost heart, and along with it, our sense of direction. Like the Israelites in the desert of Sinai, we can find ourselves wandering aimlessly from one dry place to another, frustrated and wondering why this "new life in Christ" doesn't seem to be all it was cracked up to be.
Far too often, the "Christian" life becomes marked by a stagnant struggle between what is and what ought to be. I ought to be content and peaceful, but I'm not. I ought to be delivered from the power of sin, but I am not. I ought to be fulfilled and full of joy, but I am not. We're stuck on the road that leads to Life, but we never seem quite able to reach the destination.
In his book, “Waking the Dead,” John Eldredge writes, "[Jesus] wants truth in the inmost being, and to get it there He's got to take us into our inmost being." But what does it mean to go into your inmost being? The Hebrew word for "inmost being" refers to our deepest thoughts and desires, the core of who we are. In other words, it's talking about our hearts. For Jesus to get his transforming truth into our inmost being, he needs us to take a journey into our hearts — and let Him shine His light on what our deepest thoughts and desires really are.
Saying yes to that journey is a brave decision. It means breaking rules and busting through barriers that may have become quite familiar and even cozy because of the illusion of safety they convey. It means surrendering your control to a Power and a Will greater than yourself – and letting Him carry you to the very place you actually always wanted to go. "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will find it" (Matthew 10:39, NLT).
Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes once said, "too many people die with their music still in them." Committing your heart to pursue "life to the full" in Christ grants you the stage where you can finally let loose your own special song, and dance in the special way that God made you to dance — a way that no one else has ever seen, or could ever do.
About the Author: Michael D. Warden is a Professional Co-Active Coach, nationally trained through the Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael, CA, and a member of the International Coach Federation. Michael's clients' one common trait is their passion to go after the "biggest life" they can live. They want to know what they're here for, and go after that vision in a way that brings positive change to the world. Find more on his life and work at www.michaelwarden.com.