Running From Abundant Life
Meditation on John 10:10 by Cris Cramer
John 10:10 (NIV):
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
This is a very familiar verse. I've come back to this one for encouragement and comfort many times. I think it's one of the greatest promises Jesus gave us, to have life to the full. But I have to admit, I feel like I have no idea what he's really talking about.
The words are right there, as bare fact. But I don't know what living a really full life means, I don't feel like I've ever done it yet. It's the difference between head-knowledge and experiential-knowledge. I've only got head-knowledge about this one. I don't really understand what he's offering, not in a deep and meaningful way.
The idea of a full life is compelling, but it's not what I've constructed for myself. I've always lived in a safe, cautious way, rejecting risk and adventure and uncertainty, and therefore, rejecting some of the components that I think are needed for fullness of life. Judging by past evidence, I can't honestly argue that I want to have a full life, or that my past-self wanted it. At best, it has been a conflicted issue.
As I write these words, I'm walking through a time where a lot of my old safe life has been deconstructed around me, and so the field is open. I need to construct new things, and in large part, it's up to me what to build. So what am I going to work toward? Another safe, cautious life, or one with more room for new things, one that is more full, more fulfilling?
I don't know yet. I've experienced the cautious mode of life, and it tried to wreck me. It didn't fill me with life, it drained life out of me. I don't want to go back to that. But opposing it is a big empty space full of questions. I don't know how to cope with that. I hardly know where to begin. So which to choose? The old, familiar, and safe, or the new and daunting?
I don't know what's going to happen. But Jesus knows, and he says in this verse that he came on behalf of fostering life, abundant life, full life. Life. I don't trust in myself, but I have to trust in him. He's been clearing decks around me, and I hope and pray that we can build something new, something abundant, something alive.
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