Dec 5, 2019

Another Day In Paradise

“How are you doing?" I asked a friend who I ran in to at a local store.

"Living the dream!" He exclaimed; "It's another day in paradise!"

Really? This is what he dreamed of when he was up all night studying for the finals? This was his dream life and all that it included?

My friend was being sarcastic for his life was marked with many trials such as a failed marriage and bouncing from job to job. His response masked his pain that he was longing for a better life that was filled with supercalifragilisticexpialidocious moments of unending joy!

Truth is, much of life is marked with doing what we need to do: Get up, get dressed, eat, brush our teeth, go to work or do our chores; and at the end of the day we do it all in reverse order and go to bed.

That is how much of our lives go; marked with the occasional outing to purchase groceries and other household items...only to get up and do it all again the next day.

If that isn't enough, throw in the fun tasks such as cutting the grass, shoveling the snow, weeding the garden, taking out the trash, and cleaning the fish tank.

Fun isn't it? Mundane? Boring?  I haven't even added in the trials and hardships that we go through as we live in the real world of brokenness that is so far from the paradise that we long for.

Unfortunately, we stop short and look for approval, validation, and life from things that will never really bring real life and fall short of paradise.

We strive throughout the minutia of our day to get everything that we can possibly want to make this bearable such as tablets, computers, dishwashers, ovens, cars, Roombas, leaf blowers, paper shredders, smartwatches, roof rakes, salad spinners and all of the other modern conveniences  that we need to break up our boring world.

So, we mark our lives by BIG events such as the big holidays, birthdays, weddings, vacations, funerals, graduations, etc. We spend our days planning and longing for the day when we _____________ (fill in the blank).

And yet that isn't really what this life is all about. In fact, many people use their vacation to get away from all that they have by going deep into the wilderness where they can be off the grid and have absolutely no modern conveniences; including running water or electricity.

Real life comes as we pay attention to that heart cry that says;
"this can't be all that there is..."

It is the heart cry from One who put eternity in our hearts that causes us to seek life. 
Life is about just showing up and doing what is on our plates for the day. It is about being consistent and faithful to the items on our agenda for the day. Its leaving room for spontaneous divine 'interruptions' that cross our path.

Life, real life is learning to wake up and be grateful for even being able to wake up. It is looking for and expressing gratefulness in the minutia of this everyday, mundane existence that we call life.

Life comes from the One who Himself wants to give life this side of paradise. He put the heart cry in our hearts for paradise.

Today, at this very moment, He is reaching out to you; calling to you to come to Him because He wants you to have real life. Today. Right now.

His Name is Jesus and He tells us how to get this life in Matthew 11:28:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

He is the one who said in John 10:10 that He came to that we may have life (Zoë) and life abundantly (superabundant in quality or superior; excessive, exceedingly, beyond measure, superfluous, vehement).

Sounds like paradise this side of paradise doesn't it? And you can have it each and every day no matter what happens. It is a matter of choosing how you respond to the grace and mercy that awaits you at each and every turn of your day; from the moment that you awake.

Your response to Him is to say "yes". It's not based upon what you have done; good or bad...that is what His death, burial, and resurrection is all about. The Bibles says in Romans 10:9-13:

"...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 

Jesus will help you to live today and every day after that in paradise; here on earth and eternally beyond this life.

All Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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