The abundant and full life! It’s one of the best promises of God, especially in contrast to the works of the evil one that are designed to steal, kill and destroy.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
In the past month, I’ve learned something about what it means to be a full participant in the full life that Jesus provides, rather than a spectator. And my commitment to fitness was a big part of that!
In the month of October, I took the trip of a lifetime - a trip that I had prayed for many years ago. God answered my prayer and gave me the opportunity to go to Germany to visit family and then on to Italy to experience Venice, Florence and Rome! Even better was that I got to go with my daughter and my husband met up with us for the last part of the trip.
Travelling with my daughter was both fun and challenging. That girl walked me into the ground and encouraged me to step outside of my safety and comfort zones!
After a long day of walking in Florence, she informed me that we would be climbing 469 steep steps to the top of the Florence duomo to get a view of Florence at sunset! I honestly worried that I would not be able to do it and even thought about backing out. But I braved those steps and was able to make it to the top with much less difficulty that I had expected. The rewards of seeing the painting on the inside dome up close and the beautiful view of Florence from the top of the cathedral were well worth it!
After spending a full day walking the streets of Rome, my daughter informed me that we would be waking up early the next morning to climb to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica. That morning, there would be no other way to describe me than as cranky and irritable and I seriously considered taking a pass. I appreciated her concession to take the elevator part of the way up, but there were still 300 steps to climb after that. And I am so glad that I climbed them! After Florence, those 300 steps seemed like a piece of cake! The rewards of getting to touch the mosaics inside the dome and have a cup of cappuccino with my daughter while enjoying the view from the roof of St. Peter’s was absolutely worth the effort!
Both of those stair climbs were highlights of my trip! And because I invested in the commitment to regular exercise, I was able to fully participate and not be held back by my lack of cardiovascular endurance!
My commitment to fitness has allowed me to be a full participant in the full life that God has given me!
That’s not because I am special - I am not an athlete and I don’t look like anything other than a typical woman in her mid-50’s. But I have consistently fulfilled my commitment to exercise regularly and that is what allowed me to be a full participant in my trip of a lifetime!
That's not to say that the full and abundant life consists of experiences (such as my trip) or possessions. The full and abundant life consists of having the fullness of Christ living within us and the hope of an everlasting life with Him. But I am thankful that Christ also gives us fullness of life through the many blessings and opportunities He gives us. They will be big and small and they change with every season of life.
What about you? In what ways has Jesus made your life full in this season of life? Jesus provides us with many opportunities to enjoy a full life and that will look different for each and every person. But are you a full participant? Are there any commitments or changes to your health habits that need to be made so that you can be a full participant in the opportunities to live a full life that God brings your way?
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About the author:
Hello! My name is Ginger Hill and I am a Christ follower and a wellness professional. Over the years, I have personally and professionally seen the benefits of healthy living and I have also seen the hardships of struggling to practice good health habits in the midst of a busy and sometimes stressful life. I am passionate about helping myself and others to live a healthy lifestyle and I believe that good health is essential in helping us to do the good works that God has called us to do. Because I am a work in progress, I write these blog posts to encourage myself and I share them with others in the hope that they may be encouraged as well.
Psalm 92:12,14 (NLT)
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