When do you feel most fully alive?
That moment where you feel right on target, in the zone, on the peak of the wave. That time and place, even for the briefest of moments, where you know fully without any doubt that this is what you were meant for.
I want to be someone who is fully alive.
Wholeheartedly alive. Someone that others would say ‘He really knew how to dance a jig with Father, Son and Spirit’
Would you like that too?
The glory of God is man fully alive. Saint Irenaeus
I think the greatest threat to being fully alive is to simply lose our focus upon what is truly most important.
Biblical character and fully alive wall builder Nehemiah was one that refused to lose focus.
As I have worked my way through this rebuilding journey one key theme emerges. Opposition.
Time and time again the story is full of stories of enemies trying to stop the work. Yet Nehemiah keeps the people focused on the task. It’s like this was his burning passion, when he was most fully alive.
The wall is almost finished and in chapter 6 comes the last throw of the dice by the enemies.
You can read it here.
Nehemiah is asked to come away from the wall for a chat. I think the plan was not to just have a friendly get together over a glass of wine, but to get him away from the wall and then kill him.
Sanballat and Geshem sent me this message: “Come, let us meet together in one of the villages on the plain of Ono.”
But they were scheming to harm me; so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?”
This request for a meeting was repeated 5 times.
Later in this passage we find that Nehemiahs enemies even hired so called prophets to speak on Gods behalf to try and distract him.
Nehemiah saw through it all. He was not going to be distracted from his one thing.
I am carrying on a great project
and cannot go down.
I love that last phrase ‘cannot go down’.
Probably it was alluding to the fact that Jerusalem is on the hills and their request required a going down to the flats. Possibly also he was up a ladder and would therefore need to go down and off the wall.
Metaphorically though it could be taking a step down from something that is great.
Nehemiah comes alongside me.
His ‘fully alive’ self sings a song of hope that things can be different. Depression, anxiety, etc don’t have to be the hallmark of ones life.
Here is what I think Nehemiah might ask me.
- What is the ‘great project’ God has given you?
- Who and/or what is asking you to ‘come down’ from this great project?
- Where are you most ‘fully alive?
Perhaps Nehemiah might ask you the same ‘hard to answer’ questions too.
For me I know what it is like to be fully alive.
I know that certain activities, like writing and creating, seem to fill my cup whilst others drain and suck the life out of me.
I also know that when I am continually giving out of myself into others, and into my work, then part of me feels like it is slowly being vacuum sucked dry.
Silently and subtly I am pulled away from the ‘great project’. From being ‘fully alive’.
How do we get that sense of being ‘fully alive’
Here are some suggestions.
- Spend the next week doing the ‘cup fillers/ drainers exercise.’
In this little exercise I invite you to imagine your life as being a cup. Some things drain life out of your cup and somethings fill your cup with life. Somethings do both. Review your observations about any trends you see. When are you most ‘fully alive’?
Find out more here.
- Review the I/WE/WORK model particularly looking for what fills your ‘I’.
In this model we have three circles of life. The ‘I’, the ‘WE’ and the ‘WORK’. So often the the circles of ‘WE’ and ‘WORK’ suck the life out of the ‘I’.
Find out more here.
- Proactively schedule time everyday for that which you sense God is saying ‘This is your great project’.Make ‘Your great project’ a priority and become alert to any distraction that would call you down and away from it.
It would be wonderful and encouraging to leave a comment below about what you have discovered.
Quotes to consider
- Success demands singleness of purpose. Gary Keller
- Anyone who dreams of an uncommon life eventually discovers there is no choice but to seek an uncommon approach to living it. Gary Keller
- The things which are most important don’t always scream the loudest. Bob Hawke
- Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. Mark Twain
Questions to answer
- What do think is your ‘Great Project’? (Don’t belittle it with comparisons to others)
- What are distractions that entice you down and away from the great project?
- When are you most fully alive?
Image: Peter Lobozzo