My view of God largely influences how I live my life. Said the other way around, how I live my life largely results from my view of God. I’m convinced of this!
The decisions I make, the chances I take, the depth of my relationships, the ways I celebrate and suffer, worship and work, help and hope – in short, how I live my life – results from my view of God.
At the church I serve, we just started a worship series built around this truth. We are calling the series, “How Big is God?” In it, we are exploring two very real questions: 1) Do I view God as small and occasionally reliable or big and always reliable; and, 2) what difference does it make in how I live my life?
If I view God as distant and uncaring, then I am likely to act in ways that are uncertain, timid and passive. When the going gets rough, as it always does at some point, I might give in, give up or give out because I’m not sure that God is really there, really engaged or really cares. My tomorrow is likely to be the same as my yesterday since the unpredictability of change makes growth undesirable.
On the other hand, if I view God as dependably present and utterly loving, then I am likely to act in ways that are confident, trusting and even daring. I know the security of God’s acceptance and the reliability of God’s promises. Growth and change are for me adventures to embrace. Yes, they are still unpredictable, but they can be embraced because God is trustworthy.
With a big and dependable God, I am allowed, even encouraged, to live a big life. What is a big life, you ask? Today let’s look at just two characteristics of living a big life.
First of all, a big life snatches all life has to offer and even squeezes out a little more. I like this quote from Ray Bradbury, "I do wish to run, to seize this greatest time in all the history of man to be alive, to stuff my senses with it, to eye it, touch it, listen to it, smell it, taste it, and hope that others will run with me, pursuing and pursued by ideas."
A big life snatches all life has and squeezes out more.
Second, a big life shares with others. You have gifts the world needs. What exactly are your gifts and who exactly needs them? I don’t know.
As a friend puts it, “Maybe your song won't be sung on David Letterman. It may never make the top-40 list. But somebody out there needs to hear it. Maybe it's the 92-year-old shut-in who lives next door, who giggles every time she overhears you sing, ‘I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Weiner’ outside her bedroom window. Isn't that enough?”
It is. A big life shares with others.
So go on now, get out there. Live a big life. It’s okay, you know, because thankfully yours is a big God!
Nathan Wilson is pastor of First Christian Church on West Washington Street, and a life coach helping people move from where they are to where they want to be in their professions and their personal lives. He can be reached at Nathan@fccshelby.org.