Thursday, March 27, 2014

How Do I Live Life With Abandon?

Hey Friend,
When I was in my teens, one of my favorite outdoor sports was snow skiing.  I grew up outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and just to the east of us was a really nice, mountainous ski resort.  My friend, Nina, and I went on many a high school ski trip to this beautiful destination and became pretty good skiers after a few years.  We rose quickly from "bunny slope" to black diamond runs in pretty short order - oh the fearlessness of youth!
On one particular visit we were feeling quite full of ourselves having conquered all the black diamonds on the one side of the mountain.  All that was left to dominate was the formidable North Face of the mountain.  Those slopes were usually reserved for the experts, but we were feeling pretty fearless that day so we took the chair lift to the top of North Face, took a deep breath and with wild, reckless abandon, pointed our skis downward and took off. 
Fast forward our cocky adventure and my friend wound up in the emergency room with her leg in a cast.  There is a difference between living life with abandon and living life with reckless abandon.  
When we think of living life with abandon, we often think of words like:  Courageous, Zealous, Undaunted, Bold, Brave, Confident, Fierce, Generous and Joyous.   Sure, these are some adjectives that could describe someone who lives life with abandon, but there is something more...something so much more.
The apostle Paul lived with abandon, not abandon to his natural base instincts or with disregard to moral code.  Rather...
He lived life with abandon to the task God had given him.
He surrendered himself totally to this goal with disregard even for his own life.
Abandon involves a task or goal and it also involves surrender.

Luke 9:23 reads: (Jesus speaking)  And he said to them all, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me."  To live the life of abandon that Christ was speaking about we must do several things:

Deny Self:  Choose God's direction not our own.

Take up our crosses:  Make a true commitment. Am I willing to carry my cross of faith in Christ even unto death?  Tough question!

Follow Him:  Imitate Christ's example.

Anything else is simply lip service...

Living life with abandon means we don't play it safe.  We say "Yes" to God's Holy Spirit when He moves in us.  We have a higher calling beyond ourselves and we want to make our lives count for something! 

Quiet, introverted, contemplative people can live a life with abandon just as well as the bold, extroverted, demonstrative people can. 

This is not a performance, it is living life with a purpose.

In a college class, we were asked to write our own eulogy.  Kind of morbid I thought at the time, but it made me think...what will I want people to say about me when I'm gone?  Do I want them to say, "She could write and at one point in her life she had a mean backhand in tennis"?  Or do I want them to say, "She was completely sold out for Christ"? 

Living life with Abandon involves burden, sacrifice and surrender so it is not for the faint of heart.

Are you with me?  Are you ready to give all that you are...every part of your heart and place it in Jesus' hands?  I hope so, because you know what?  The world needs YOU!!  If you encourage me, I'll encourage you and together we can make a difference.  Be blessed my friend...

In His love,


ps.  It's spring "give away time".  Leave a comment and your name may be drawn to receive a DaySpring scripture mug and Starbucks gift card.

Also, for some inspiration in living life with abandon - listen to the lyrics from the Newsboys single, "Live With Abandon" on YouTube.