The More Life

What do you like more of? More hot fudge on your sundaes? More time to sleep? More vacation time? We all like more. Usually. I don’t really like the more pounds on my body but it’s a result of the more hot fudge so I guess I’ll just have to accept that as a fair trade. 🙂

Children learn very early what “more” means. As the teacher in our Wednesday night preschool room, I’m witness to the number of times children finish their snack and want more. Or have used all their stickers and want more. Or have most of the toys but still want more.

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As adults, we still use the word and often. We want more and more and more. However,  adults frequently use the word in the form of a question.

There has to more than this, right?

Basically we’re asking if there is more life for us than just going to work, maybe sitting in a pew on Sunday, and keeping the same routine from week to week for years of our lives. Sure, we may throw in a few fun weekends, movie nights, or vacations but many are still left wanting.

When I read John 10:10, I wonder what Jesus visualized when He said…

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Jesus came so we could have life abundantly — you know, more! For years, I’ve struggled with the concept. In fact, many times I still do. Then one day, the cartoon light bulb flicked on above my head. I remembered how many times He called us children and I figured I would look to them to see how I could live a more more life.

1.More has nothing to do with better.

It may be a cardboard box or a toy that’s older than the church building but children don’t care. They know that they can have fun with whatever it is and they do.

As adults we look for the better option. We want the new phone or the best vacation or the most amazing experience. Far too often we miss the mark because we’re looking for the best instead of enjoying what we already have. Being content with what we have takes us a long way in understanding how to live the abundant life.

Contentment is the only real wealth.

2.More takes pleasure in helping.

At the end of each evening with my preschoolers, I allow them play time while I wipe off the table and chairs. However, almost all the kids come running over and ask for wipes. The table may not exactly get clean but they take great joy in ‘helping’ me clean the table.

Serving others, whether it’s teaching a class at church or volunteering in your community, comes with great reward. Sure, there will be frustrations but the feeling of knowing that you did something while expecting nothing in return is pretty great. If we want to live abundantly we have to think about others and find joy in helping without payment or honor.

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.

3.More isn’t afraid to ask.

Children are inclined just to take the toy that they want even if it’s in someone else’s possession. They need to be taught to ask and we reward them when they do ask. Especially if they ask nicely. They aren’t afraid of getting a no or of receiving something bad when they asked for something good.

Innocence protects children and quiets the fear of rejection. If we want to live the more life then we need to learn to ask and to ask in the correct manner. While we may still get a negative response, we can’t let that quiet our asking. Of course, there is much to be said with regards to asking God according to His will but that’s a topic for another day. Today, the important thing is that we need to ask.

According to a Forbes article from 2013, “The average American was given 14 days of vacation during the past year, yet took only 10, leaving four days unused, twice as many as last year. Collectively, Americans failed to take an estimated 577,212,000 available days of vacation this year.” Ask for your vacation days! Take them and do fun stuff, serve someone else, or just take a nap. Naps are fun too.

When you stop learning, stop listening, stop looking and asking questions, always new questions, then it is time to die.

4.More is okay with looking silly.

I love my song and dance time with the preschoolers. They shake their little instruments and dance around the room not caring who’s watching or how silly they look. It is freedom at its finest.

Children always seem to have more because they do. Psychology Today says that the average four year old laughs 300 times a day while the average 40 year old only laughs four times a day. Yikes!

We have to get over the feeling of looking ridiculous and embrace our loud laugh or crazy dance moves. We need to give ourselves permission to look silly and enjoy the moments as they come.

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.

5.More wants to please the Father.

Young children are always keen to please the adults in their life. They may have their bad moments but generally they want to please. The happiest children I know are taught and trained to be polite, kind, and respectful while keeping the fun and silly in tact.

God is a good Father. He wants us to be kind, loving, and honoring to His Word but He doesn’t want us to be holed up without fun. He longs to give us the abundant life but He wants to do it in a healthy and God honoring way. The most abundant life comes when we want to please Him and submit to His guidelines. Only then are the consequences of our actions not something we need fear.

God never ends anything on a negative; God always ends on a positive.

Are there any secrets you’ve learned to living the more life? Share them in the comments — I would love to hear them!!

 


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